we are a people of action. we love to be doing. social network updates are rife with declarations of activities, causes undertaken, places visited, life goals accomplished. there is nothing inherently wrong with getting things done, i suppose, but i wonder if, and here i turn my eye to the church, to Christ-followers, we haven’t become so addicted to acting that we’ve forgotten the importance of being acted upon.
certainly God calls us to do things. the great commission is about going, and there are numerous exhortations to feeding hungry people, clothing the naked, and so on. love, as dcTalk reminded us, is a verb. yet that’s not the whole story. God is also the God who, though he didn’t really need to, took a day off. Jesus was always trying to get away from the crowds, and when that didn't work, he got up before anybody else so that he could be alone with God.
i have found myself of late repeatedly asking God what he wants me to do. there are times when i feel like i'm living out the U2 song, completely stuck in a moment i can't get out of. but there's stuck, and then there's still. and i feel like God isn't so much telling me to do something, but waiting for me to allow something to be done to me, in me. something only he can do. it's like when the dentist or the doctor tells you to lay still so they can work. to extend the metaphor logically, i don't mean to say that God needs me to stop moving around or else he'll make a mistake. rather, i think he wants me to be still because in my stillness i am confessing one of the great and most difficult truths of our faith: God knows better what i need than i do.
we do because we think we know. we act because we're convinced we've charted the right course, made the best decision, formed the surest plan. we are, however, to paraphrase the late rich mullins, not as right or sure or strong as we think we are.
it may not be for always, and it may not be for now, but when you hear the call, i encourage you to heed it: be still. cease to act, and ask for the courage and the grace and the good sense to allow yourself to be acted upon.
it is God who has begun the work, and God who will keep it...