Are you content to be on the sidelines… but won’t get in the game?
There is an old faith illustration (and I cannot remember where it came from) that goes something like this:
There once was a famous tightrope walker who spanned a cable across a wide and deep gorge. Fearlessly, he walked back and forth across the chasm that, if he fell, would have meant certain death… all the while the crowd applauded. After completing the last of several death-defying walks he asked the crowd, “do you believe I can do it one more time?”. The crowd roared and chanted, “YES, YES, YES”. Again, he asked the crowd, “do you REALLY believe I can do it one more time?”. Again, the crowd roared and chanted, “YES, YES, YES”.
Then, the famous tightrope walker said, “then who will travel with me across the gorge… sitting on my shoulders”.
Silence… you could hear the crickets.
Anything worth doing is hard and scary! Usually, our first reaction to making a serious commitment… to doing things better… is to remain silent, ignore it, or defer. We may acknowledge and support it as ‘a good idea’. We may claim we are going to make it a part of our lives. But then, days, weeks, even months or years go by and we never seem to get around to it.
Whether we are talking about eating right, exercise… saving for retirement, overcoming an addiction, or developing our faith life… it seems so hard because we have to risk, change, and sacrifice now for benefits later. What’s worse is that, at the outset, there doesn’t seem to be any guarantee that such change, effort, and sacrifice will have any payoff.
The weird thing is this: we don’t argue about the benefits that changes in lifestyle will bring, and we applaud those who are doing it. Like the audience cheering-on the tightrope walker, we have a lot to say when we have nothing, literally, ‘on the line’. Who of us has ever responded to a friend or loved one who was getting fit, sober, or finacially secure, or was developing their spiritual side, with a response like, “that’s stupid”. But, when it comes to our own situation, we are never at a loss for excuses as to why ‘its not right for me right now’.
In Acts 5, we read about folks who did it just like that:
Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem.
None of the rest dared to join… the stakes were too high, but yet the people held them in high esteem. As ‘works in progress’ we need to dare to join, dare to change, dare to make a difference. It means risk, change, and sacrifice… but, deep down, we know already that it holds long-term benefits.
Barnegat Anew wants to be an agent of change… and a support for those who want a better life. Let’s risk together… and grow together.