Saturday, January 4, 2014

There's So Much To Do.

And I am not doing enough of it. Let me explain.

I feel so restless tonight, readers. I've been reading a couple of inspiring books lately that are basically calls to radical, Spirit-filled Christianity. Recklessly abandoning the comfortable and truly following Christ, instead of just giving Him his little corner of our hearts or His two hours of our Sunday morning. And I want to do that, because I have decided to follow Jesus.

But following Jesus is, of course, not a one-time deal. It's not just about securing our salvation and then being done with it. Our faith needs to show up in our good works, in our love for others, in our compassion. That's not what brings us into right standing with God, but it's for sure what we need to have because we are in right standing with God.

And the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. There are millions of people on this planet who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are millions more who don't have the Bible in their own language. There are so many people, both in our own communities and abroad, who are struggling with hunger and poverty and abuse. Children the world over lack access to an education and die of readily preventable diseases. Women and children are forced into sex trafficking all over the world and, in fact, the United States. Babies are abandoned by the side of the road just because of their gender. Thousands of children in orphanages and foster care want nothing more than a family to love them. More people than we really want to think about don't have access to some of the very basics of life, like clean drinking water, warm clothes for the winter, basic medical care, and homes capable of protecting them from the elements. There are lonely elderly people in nursing homes that long to have someone come visit them, homeless people in our own cities who just want a hot meal or a jacket to wear, kids that just want someone to take them in and show them love.

Are you getting where I'm coming from? There's so much to do! Homes need to be built, the Gospel desperately needs to be shared, the hungry need to be fed, children need to be fostered and adopted by loving parents, and so much more. My generation is more passionate about these issues than probably any generation that has come before, probably in part because modern technology and the Internet have opened our eyes to the magnitude of the need worldwide. Some of my generation has wrongly traded social justice for faith, believing that compassion rather than Christ is what saves you, and that's so misguided. We need to have compassion because of our faith, not instead of our faith. But no matter how we look at it, we're a generation that craves maximum impact with our lives.

I know I do. I want to impact people. I want my life to be one that matters, where many people have a better life because I lived. Moreover, I get tired of my predictable life and want to reject the familiar and pursue Jesus wherever He leads me, to places I've never been before, both literally and figuratively. The Christian life should be an adventure, full of divine appointments and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous favor of God enabling us to impact others for Him. Because really, that's what it's all about. It's not about us just chilling in our cozy little corner of the world. We need to get our hands dirty and our hearts heavy with the plight of those who suffer, and do something about it.

But do you ever just feel sort of stuck? That's exactly how I feel tonight. It's like, I'm here in my comfortable home sitting on my comfortable couch knowing that there is much to be done, people and hearts that need to be reached, but not knowing what exactly to do about it. Or having a voice of negativity drowning out the ideas I do have. Maybe I should volunteer at a soup kitchen. But you don't have time, the voice says. Maybe I should write that devotional e-book I've wanted to write for years. But you don't really know how to write, it says. Maybe I should go on a short-term mission trip. But it reminds me that I don't have any money.

But you know what? Maybe I should volunteer anyway, write the book anyway, and go anyway. And maybe you should too, and find a way to do what needs to be done in spite of the fact that it's bound to be awkward, expensive, inconvenient, uncomfortable, ridiculed, or perhaps all of the above. We need to start doing it anyway.

Because following Jesus implies that there is motion involved. We pursue Him, we run after Him, we go where He leads. And chances are good that can't all be accomplished sitting on the couch. So get in motion. Do it.

Write the book. Or the check. Or the blog post.

Go to that foster care meeting.

Sponsor a child.

Visit the prison, the orphanage, the homeless shelter.

Have that conversation.

Just do it.

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