I am a watcher of people. I love social connections because you get to see and know so many different personalities and peoples. One beautiful thing about this life is how different and diverse humanity is. I am extremely entertained and delighted to watch this all unfold in real life!
One thing I constantly have to remind myself of (as I am watching others and how they are doing life) is that the world is way bigger than my little corner of it. Meaning…I can view how my friend in Africa is helping those with disabilities and it looks nothing like what I do. I deliver a speech at a Senate Committee meeting, or deliver a piece of adaptive equipment to someone in need, and my friend is giving out chickens and goats so they have a constant source of eggs and milk! One isn’t better than the other. We are just living out the reality of our lives in our corners of the world.
However, there is something that is bothering me. It bothers me in life and what I see on social media platforms, it bothers me in the disability community I am a citizen of, and it bothers me in the church among fellow Christians. And so it made me curious enough to pose the question: How disturbed are you really?
I just read a quote by Catherine Booth (co-founder of the Salvation Army) and she said:
“If we are to better the future we must disturb the present.”
There is SO much talk. We are more privy to it because of the easy access to throw out our opinions about everything in 5 seconds through a tweet or post. Lots and lots and lots of words. We have opinions about everything. But, as a watcher of life, I get bewildered by all the talk that is followed by very little personal action.
For example, I read SO many complaints about wheelchair problems or fears about insurance and government assistance, or even politics in general yet there are very few who are writing or calling or even visiting their representatives and making their opinions known to those who truly matter.
I hear members of churches who want growth and young families, and yet they complain or gripe while trying to establish outreach or encourage these same people. I am reminded of the verse to “keep the ox and clean out the crib.” Who gets rid of the cow because of manure? Sometimes, you deal with little things for the greater thing!
I know of individuals who are in a mess and are looking to others to solve their problems, but will do very little themselves. I am reminded of a young man once who wanted help for consistency in his spiritual life. My husband asked him, “Why don’t you just start with reading one chapter a day in your Bible.” The young mad said, “Isn’t there something easier you could tell me to do?”
There are families who are so concerned where their children are spiritually. They worry because they don’t like church, or are living in ways that are grieving their church parents. But…at home, there is not a lot of communication about God, very little personal Bible study either individually or as a family, very little public prayer and praise time, and the idea is to just make them go to church and it will all turn out fine.
I know families who are torn apart and all sides will say they want to see it fixed and restored yet who is actually trying to fix things?
Why is this?
- Why is it that we are so quick to communicate our opinions yet be so little personally involved?
- Why are we quick to throw our opinions all over social media, yet do nothing practical about it in the real world – beyond virtual reality?
- Why do we want all the blessings in our churches without any baggage?
- Why do we want results with no work?
- Why do we say we are pro-relationships and then jump out of them so quickly?
I believe the answer is that we truly aren’t disturbed enough. Oh yes, we are annoyed, aggravated, mad, fussy…but not disturbed. Truth is, if you found a giant lump in your head, with intense headaches and blurred vision, would you post how aggravated you were? Would you tweet your frustration with lumps and headaches? I would venture to say that you would be disturbed enough to see a doctor and have tests run!
I think we all have opinions. I think we all have tempers. I think we get hot under the collar when others don’t agree with us. But what I think, is that we care more about being heard than being a help. I think we want to talk and let others do the work. I think we love being the gripers, but few want to be the givers.
I am reminded of verses such as “being doers of the Word and not hearers only…”(James 1:22), or “faith without works is dead…”(James 2:17), or maybe the one where God said He was “near in their mouths but far from their reigns…”(Jeremiah 12:2), or “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16) You don’t hear the nay-sayers quoting these do you?
I am not trying to be a downer. Actually, I would like to see the future changed with more doers and less talkers. I would like to see the love of Jesus poured out in lives…not on paper. I would like to see the hands and feet of Christ actively working and moving and touching and healing through us! I would like our words and actions to reflect the Christ Who gave everything for us – and not the griping that we do when it might require a sacrifice of my time, or finances or even opinion. This disturbs me. And if I want the future to change, I must disturb the present.
Which leads to asking the question again….”How disturbed are you really?”
Talk is cheap – including this blog. I would rather my life be copied than my words be quoted.
So is there a practical solution to this? I think so and it is much more simple than you think!
A dear friend and coach to me said that there are two questions to ask when you are confronted with something:
1. What can I personally do about it?
Can I change the president? Can I make my voice heard about a law? Am I even willing to be a part of this proposed ministry?
If I am planning to do nothing, then why does my opinion matter?
2. Who do I see as the avenue to help me do something about it?
The answer to this is who you should talk to. Be very careful about this. If someone is not a key to the solution, then I should probably not be talking to them about it. If they are a key to helping solve a problem, then go speak to them!
3. Memorize this verse. It is quoted often in our family!
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (I Thessalonians 4:11)
Since nothing should never be an option, may God help us all to find our place and finish our race!