Saturday, December 03, 2005

a call to action

Pastors, writers, presidents, and government officials are always calling for some type of action. Love your neighbor, consider these dangers, support your troops, conserve gas. It’s a call to action. I think to an extent we all enjoy listening to a call for action. “All right, someone’s finally coming out and saying it!” It’s easy to say rah, rah, but where’s the action? When I heard about President Bush’s call to for gas conservation, I thought, fat chance, it’s a good idea, but you’re not going to get action. I find myself thinking that a lot. Fat chance, everyone in the church isn’t suddenly going to change their ways because of your call to action.

Then I realize just what a hypocrite I am, and how ironic the situation is. I think the call to action is appropriate, I doubt anyone will do it, and I have no intention of doing it. Action requires change. Action requires humility. Action requires effort. It’s very easy to philosophize.

I think that joy is an essential part of a Christian’s life. When things are going bad? By all means. But of course, I ‘feel’ the most joyful when things are going my way. So what happens when I get hit by the curve ball? Suddenly, action is a whole lot harder.

And here I am, philosophizing. We are to rejoice when we face trials of many kinds, “because the testing of our faith produces perseverance.” [James 1: 2-4] I’ve hit a snag in my joy plan, but that shouldn’t stop me.

Action isn’t comfortable. Action is humbling, because I realize just how dependent I am on outside circumstances. But my responsibility is clear: joyful at all times, because I know that God is in control. Nothing is happening that has surprised God.

My justification for writing this is because I triumphed over my anti-joy tendency today. “Count your blessings.” Trite, but true. I have everything in the world for which to be thankful. And that leaves me full of joy.

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