There are days when I’m running on the treadmill and I don’t have it in me to run.
There are days when I’m watching a World Famine commercial on TV and I don’t have it in me to watch.
There are days when I’m reading my Bible and praying and I don’t have it in me to read. Or pray. Or worship. Or even think about making life changes.
I simply don’t care.
To run or quit. Quit.
To sponsor a child, or change the channel. Change the channel.
To be Spirit-led, or me-led. Me.
So I power down the treadmill.
I switch off the TV.
I shut my Bible.
I close my heart.
Quick and painless.
On to something fun.
We hate discomfort, don’t we? We like to be comfy and cozy and cuddly. And North America certainly affords us these opportunities, so when given the choice; we will always choose the path of least resistance. We’re human.
But with what’s happening in our world, we cannot afford to have “those days.”
We cannot power down.
We cannot shut off.
We cannot tune out.
We cannot not care.
Our world is in too dire of a condition for us to choose any path of least resistance. It needs us.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” —Ephesians 6:12
Yesterday I hunkered down and did it. I forced myself to read up on what’s going on in the world. This of course produced images that are so horrible, do disgusting, so detailed, so uncomfortable, that everything in me was screaming, “Run, run, run.”
I’m the girl who has yet to watch Schindler’s List, The Passion of the Christ, or any other movie based on a true story because it’s too painful. Heck, I even cry watching Bambi.
I made the mistake once of watching The Impossible — a movie about a family torn apart by the 2004 Tsunami, and I’m not even kidding, I was ugly crying all over the place. Chris was like, “Good heavens woman, get a hold of yourself.” It was not pretty.
But not this time.
This time I forced myself to watch a variety of footage from various parts of the world and read a variety of material because I kept telling myself that if I wanted to catch a small glimpse into God’s broken heart, then I needed to see the people’s faces—His people’s faces—the ones over on the other side of the world who matter to Him just as much as I do.
The names I will never know.
The personal connections I will never have.
But they’re His people … and if they are His people, then they should my people.
So I did it.
I leaned in to discomfort and watched.
And I made myself imagine that these present-day scenarios were scenarios happening to me, my family, my friends and my neighbourhood. I gotta tell ya, the bawling was out of control.
Everything in me wanted to shut down my computer and drown my sorrows in chocolate and ice cream so the nausea in the pit of my stomach would go away, but I wouldn’t let myself. These people don’t have that luxury, why should I? So I continued.
Because I want to live my life compelled.
I want my life to be uncomfortable so it’s spurred to action.
I want my heart to be bothered by the mess and to live in such a way that I can’t live out my day-to-day the same.
Apathetic me ain’t here no mo.
And you know what happened?
I was too compelled to power down, to shut off, to close up and to turn away … so I walked to my living room floor, knelt down on my knees and prayed. Because isn’t that what Christians should be doing?
I know what you’re thinking, good heavens Cindy, ease up. You alone cannot save the world. This burden is too big a burden for you to carry by your lonesome. And you’re right. But.
If everyone thinks this way … if everyone passes the buck to the next person … if everyone assumes that someone else will care … or someone else will act … or someone else will deal with the mess, who will go, who will respond?
Urgency is a commandment for us all.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable to think about.
Yes, it’s unpleasant to visualize.
Yes, it’s unbearable to imagine.
Yes, it’s hard to do.
But it’s time for Christians to rise up and get comfortable with the messy, the dirty and the ugliness of this world, don’t cha think?
So yes, this world is a mess, but there is something we can do.