Foolish Fridays 6
In the next part of this series on the Importance of Being Foolish, Manning sets out what he sees as an essential characteristic of faith, “Authentic, evangelical faith cannot be separated from a willingness to act on the Word of God according to present opportunities…. “To say yes in faith implies a constant setting out,” writes Bernard Haring, “an ever-renewed readiness to receive the Word of Jesus and act on it.”
This quote, and in fact this entire section of chapter 2, is convicting. What grabbed me particularly in this reading was the time frame for expressing my faith – present opportunities. This idea of time has been a recent struggle. I have lost my mother a a few years ago, and now a dear man from church is seriously ill, in a light coma is the medical description, but he is elderly and has been fading for a period now.
By all of these events, it has me becoming so painfully aware of the question of time. The Scripture that comes to mind is from Matthew, when Jesus addresses our time window, in 6:34 from The Message, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” As well, we are not, of course, promised any tomorrows.
What is scary is that Manning is now dealing directly with heart issues. I can know in my mind that this is truth – faith is walking in obedience (my earlier postings on this issue speak to my convictions on that point – though I need to be more explicit on the issue of obedience, but that will be down the road shortly I hope), but knowing that and making it a reality are vastly different worlds.
Maybe the more excellent way is to take this to heart – look at this day and only this day and listen. Do this day and only this day what can be done. Reflect on the Word in Hebrews 12:1 in The Message,
Strip down, start running — and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Maybe as each day that is given passes I will find that when I look back I will see that I have traveled along the path. Maybe I will come to better understand the goal is not my intentional action to accomplish, but my intentional action to listen and act on the Word of Jesus.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.