Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What are we waiting for, Christmas? (Ephesians 4:1)

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:1 (TM) – larger reading Ephesians 4:1-8
In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk - better yet, run! - on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.

Friends of George Burns have always kidded him about his singing. Burns, a master of self-deprecating humor, decided to take advantage of this and insure his voice for a million dollars. He thought it would be a wonderful publicity stunt.
"I was so excited," said Burns, "I couldn't wait to rush down to the insurance company. I took a cassette and a tape recorder with me so the insurance man could hear my voice. It was one of my best numbers -- a syncopated version of Yankee Doodle Blues with a yodeling finish. The insurance man listened patiently to the whole thing, then he just looked at me and said, 'Mr. Burns, you should have come to us before you had the accident.'"

I can hear my mother even now: “What are you waiting for, Christmas?” If she said it once she said it a thousand times. I must have been the president of the Procrastinators of America and if not the president at least the vice-president. How about you?

Inertia marks most of our days. We are good sitters. We wait well. Not really sure what we are waiting on, but wait nevertheless we do. On a church road sign was this: “Waiting for a sign from God? Well, here it is!”

Our hearts are in the right place. We really do wish to be his disciples, servants of the King in the work of the Kingdom. We think that we should be able to see the whole plan before beginning. We desire it to be all laid out for us. We really are waiting on a sign from God.

But what if the only “sign” we are going to get from God is the simple nudge that we ought to be doing something? What if the only “sign” we are going to receive is the desire to begin to move? What if we only know enough to take the first step? Do we really need to know the destination before the trip is begun?

On a couple of occasions a sermon would find its way on to the preaching schedule concerning procrastination. And thanks to the creative efforts of others it had a little gimmick near the end. The conclusion went something like this: “How often have we said, ‘I will do something for God when I get around to it?” Most hands would go up. That was the ushers cue. Baskets were passed in which people found little round wooden discs on which was printed the word TUIT followed by the punch line: “You know have your round tuit … no more excuses! I think that they are still available through Christian bookstores.

What are we waiting for? Paul says: “get moving” … we really don’t have the luxury of time. There is work for the King that needs to be done and he has called us to do it… hasn’t he? It would be tragic if we waited too long… until an accident takes us out of the picture and the capability to work for the Lord.


Build a fire under us so that our spirit will be kindled to begin to move. Make us uncomfortable so that we cannot sit down. Nudge us forward. Help us to take the next step in our journey. Remind us often that while we cannot do everything we can do something. Remind us that the Kingdom is built not on grand gestures, but on simple grace filled acts of kindness… the everyday kind of things.

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