There’s a reason I haven’t written in seven weeks.
Part of it’s busyness (but we’re all chronically busy these days).
But a large part is that six weeks ago I joined a disciple-making group. And it’s pretty much rocking my world.
I’ve always been a lover of words and analyzing and discovery. On top of that, I’m an introvert who can spend hours (maybe days…maybe weeks…) alone, so those two paired together make me pretty inwardly-focused. I’m good at knowing what I believe and verbalizing it to others. Analyzing it with others. Deconstructing and reconstructing it with others.
And then people started telling me this phrase that I just couldn’t shake:
What’s the good of knowing everything if you’re doing nothing?
I’m not doing nothing. That’s what defensive/proud/plank-in-my-eye me thought. I’m having good conversations with believers about our faith. I’m writing about Jesus. I’m loving on people. How can that be nothing?
It may not be nothing, but it’s not the fullness of the “something” Jesus called me to. What I mean is that all those things help my faith go deep but not wide. I can go on mission trips and read theology books and be in Bible studies and smile at strangers til I’m blue in the face. But all of that just puffs me up if I’m not talking about the Gospel right here at home, all the time, praying for people out loud with them on a constant basis.
And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?
Someone once told me about Christ, and I believed. How could I have believed if I had not heard? How can we expect someone to have faith in something that they don’t even know exists?
Most Americans know that Jesus exists. But so many—many more than you would ever think—have never actually heard the explicit Gospel. They may know Jesus is God, but no one has ever told them that they are separated from Him by sin and can only be in His eternal presence by believing He died on a cross to bridge the gap for them.
All I know is that I want people to hear that message. It’s all that matters. The only thing.
It’s not important if people think Christians are nice—being nice doesn’t get you into heaven. It’s not important if someone asks you a theology question that you don’t have an answer for—you have the most important answer of all, the answer that they’re really, truly, deep-down craving. I’ll always strive to be kind like Jesus and study deeply to soak up all I can, but I’m slowly learning just how small those “good” tasks are in comparison to the larger task I’ve been given.
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
We’re good at going, but we’re pretty bad at staying and going here. I can hop on a plane to Latin America and share the Gospel with 50 people, but I freeze up around my Wal Mart cashier. It’s actually a really big shame. And it’s an even bigger shame that I’m just now realizing it.
So I guess that’s what happened and what’s going on.
For the last seven weeks, I’ve been in the slow process of pulling my head down from the clouds and working it in among the strangers, the beautiful, lonely, lost people I’m walking on the sidewalk with every day. I’m working on simply starting conversations, getting interested in people’s lives (cause let’s be real, that’s counter-cultural in and of itself). I’m working on asking people how I can pray for them and telling people how God has moved mountains in my life and how I know, I KNOW, He can in theirs too. I’m working on it—“failing forward,” as my group leaders often say.
And I’m totally not there yet.
But I hope you’ll join me anyway. I’ll always keep writing—I can’t not—but I’m excited to do more actual doing too. Less knowing things, more knowing people. And one reason I’m writing this (besides being unable to contain anything I ever think in life) is cause I want you to want this too. And cause now that I’ve told you, I have to keep on practicing what I preach. You hold me accountable I guess. So thanks.
In a culture where we are addicted to the classroom, it can feel like going through withdrawals when we stop learning and start doing. That’s what I’ve been experiencing. But all it takes is closing your eyes and just doing it. Nike got it right, y’all. Just do it. I could say I promise it’ll be great for you (and it probably will be), but it may not be. The point is that it will be great for someone else. When you’re living on mission here in your home with the Gospel on your lips, I promise that big things will happen.