image by telegraph.co.uk
True confession time, annoyance is growing in me. Already, in EARLY November, two Christmas Facebook posts have made the rounds. Yes, I chastised both posters--one a writing friend, the other my wife. NOVEMBER! Next, on Saturday November 14, the neighbor across the street began hanging his Christmas lights. In mid November! Have people no sense of timing? OK, it's not as elaborate as the pic above, but...
And, I watched. Sheila and I took an afternoon break on our front porch and observed the dastardly deed. Georgehired a neighborhood teen, and I hope he paid by the job, not the hour, for although the young man did move, he was barely beyond being comatose. He'd lift the string of partially hung lights, then lower them for no apparent purpose. He moved the ladder, 6" at a time. He walked into the garage, stood there for a minute, gathered nothing, then moved back to the ladder. He'd take one step up the 6 ft. ladder, pause, take another, pause...
Then I realized this young almost unmoving young man represented a metaphor for part of the spiritual life. Some of us move around a bit, just enough to give the appearance of activity, but we accomplish little. Watchers think we're productive, unless they observe carefully. The spiritual problem--we sometimes think activity is productivity, so we rarely progress. Kind of like the lukewarm church in Revelation 3.
At the other end of the spectrum, some of us feverishly rush around, busy all the time, perhaps producing quite a bit, almost furious in our pace of serving God and others. Even when believing we're saved by grace and not by works, we almost have a need to balance Jesus' sacrifice. The spiritual problem--we sometimes focus so much on action that we miss relationship, with God and others, and feel inadequate that we don't do enough.
The solution: be purposeful. We addressed this a few weeks ago, so we won't repeat. But craft some clear ideas of who you want to be, where you want to be, what you want to do. Then, find a balance. Avoid spiritual sloth that yields little spiritual progress. Avoid spiritual workaholism that yields little pleasure. No one but us can most accurately see where we are, but trusted truth tellers can help a lot. So, examine your life a bit, OK?
Kick Starting the Application
How active are you in the Christian life--either in behavior or spiritual development? Are you content with that? Why or why not? How productive are you spiritually--again internally or externally? Are you content with that? Why or why not?
Do you need to make some changes? What are they? What one will you do this week?