Politicians know it. You’ve got to work the base and reach out to get elected and make a difference crafting policy. Farmers know it maybe better than anybody. Either work the soil, or people will go hungry. Heck, even Scooby-Doo knows it. The gang must work to find the clues so that they can solve the mystery and hear the bad guy lament his capture: “I’d have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you kids and that meddling mutt!”
We instinctively know that it takes work to get anything done. That isn’t so much the issue. The problem is getting going by transcending our fears, facing-down our inner demons, and having some faith that what I’m doing is going to bear some lasting fruit.
Sometimes we don’t act because we subscribe to the Beaver Cleaver philosophy of life (I’m really dating myself with these TV references): “Gee, Wally, I just thought the bully would go away if I did nothing.” Leaning into life and dealing with it sometimes seems too overwhelming, so we avoid activity.
I’m talking to myself here as much or more than you: Nothing happens if I don’t do something.
Ah, the perfectionist in me chimes in now: “But it needs to be done right.” Yes, it does. But that doesn’t mean to obsess over it by researching the proposed action to death before you get around to do anything at all. Isaac Newton was an English scientist, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and something of a dedicated theologian. The guy was the poster boy for research. But even Newton knew the absolute importance of activity. His first law of motion is this:
An object at rest will tend to stay at rest, unless acted upon by an external force.
Newton’s axiom is also referred to as the law of inertia because it takes force or inertia to get something moving that isn’t moving.
Unless you and I do something different than what we are already doing, nothing is going to be different. That is a law as strong as gravity (which brings Newton into the equation yet again). If I want to experience a certain reality, then I need to do some activity to make things different.
If you don’t like the results of what you’re getting, you’ll need to do an activity that you haven’t done before. If sending out mailings isn’t getting the politician elected, then she’d better do something different. If the farmer isn’t getting any kernels on his ears of corn, he’d better rethink what he did and do something different. If Scooby-Doo isn’t finding any clues, the gang better get in the Mystery Machine so he can sniff somewhere else. Something has got to change!
If you don’t like the state of your soul; if you don’t like how your relationships are going (including with God); or, if you don’t like where you are in life, you’re going to need to do something different than what you’re currently doing.
People who enjoy good healthy relationships with God and others, good healthy careers, a good healthy body, mind, and spirit, work their ever-living tails off doing the things that make for those good realities.
It’s cliché, but if the get-rich-quick scheme seems too good to be true because it involves no change of activity, it probably is. If the diet plan includes no exercise and no life-style changes, it’s a scam. And, to think that you can have a wonderful relationship with God without the effort of carving-out time and connecting with the Holy Trinity each day with tried and true spiritual disciplines is total bunk.
If you looked down at the bottom of this post to get to the bottom line (so you didn’t have to do the activity of reading the entire thing), I’ll give it to you straight:
If there is something you don’t like about your life, it is your responsibility to get active and put the work and effort into changing your attitude, your narrative, and your activity.
Nobody can do your work for you. It’s up to you.
Like I said, I’m giving myself a pep talk as much, probably more, than I’m talking to you. I need the constant reminder that I’ve got to put the work in every day to do what is most important to me: Cultivating my relationship with Jesus Christ; spending time with my wife talking and working with her; doing the jobs I need to do to make money; pastoring, mentoring, and blessing others by teaching them the words and ways of Christ.
So, consider these words from the Lord Jesus and put them into practice today so that they frame your life:
“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).