Putting it Into Practice
Are you one of those people who sits and listens in prayer? Do you hear God speaking? Does He give you a final answer?
I don’t know fully what God is saying to me until I go with it. Well, let me correct that, I don’t know it fully but moving seems to facilitate the process for me. In fact, if I am stuck, I find that just getting up and doing something – just whatever occurs to me that needs doing – seems to set me in the right direction. Hate to say it, but this makes me think of those constipation medicines, that keep you “regular.” Whatever that is.
For me this conversation continues into the Christian life lived out, or the pursuit of it, anyway. If we become aware of a need, of something that needs doing, as we are able we are meant to act on it. Now I have found this to be a double-edged sword because I can be too quick to act (speak, go, do, fix, resolve) or, usually rebounding from this, I can be too slow to act (speak, go, do, try to resolve). Both work out badly. Both, I believe, have me running off course.
But the worst, for me, is stalled. I can justify this, mind you. I am waiting until I find out exactly what I am supposed be doing. Then, you betcha, I’ll be all over it. But first, I will study it, research it, learn about it. Then, when I can insure my own success I will embark. Problem is, by then the moment provided for me to move ahead is gone. I am just surmising this, mind you, because you can’t see what you’ve missed.
So today I play with the notion of continuous motion of a slow and steady sort. Listening, learning and leaning forward all in the same motion. I fear I fall into the temporal ‘everything one at a time always in a straight line’ thinking much too often. The step 1, step 2, step 3 approach. Hey, if my body can sense motion, process the sensation and plan the next motion all at the same time – without my even thinking about it – why can’t my Christian faith lived out look the same? maybe even take the same shape?
Jesus told us that if we truly loved him, we’d do what He asked. Obedience was true love. What if obedience isn’t just blind following? What if obedience is just moving forward, prompted by the notion of what needs doing? we don’t need to know the goal, just the next step, perhaps the first step. Not blindly but with full attention to where we are stepping, how it feels, and what happens then. A give and take sort of obedience. a trying it on. a putting it into practice.
Paul tells the Philippians,
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~ Phil 4:8-9
My worst enemy may be the temptation to stop with verse 8…think about such things. I wonder what would happen if I always went on to the next verse. And trusted that, when I put it into practice the God of Peace will be with me.
Can I really go wrong?