Have you ever had a call to action? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Why is it that I never get a call to coast? Anyone know what I mean? I’m not talking about times we set aside for fun and relaxation. We all need down time when we clear our calendar, chill out, veg, sleep? That’s not coasting. But what about this call to action, when it’s a strong, unmistakable prompting that won’t be silenced until we act? Today’s advent reading was timed perfectly for those times when we are called upon to act, but are hesitant. Not all acts are major events. Some are as simple as the Random Acts of Kindness promoted by my friend, Marcia Thompson, or spending extra time with God like my Sunday School teacher Scott Steiner suggests, or praying more diligently as advocated by prayer warrior Becki Meek. Sometimes our calls to action are taking that one simple prompting and acting on it. Other times the calls to action are significant and life changing. They are not paltry episodes that can be rewritten if the outcome is less than optimistic. Amazingly, answering any call to action, life-changing or not, has the same requirements.
Attitude adjustment: We have to get our heart right. Remember the thought is the spark. It starts in our heads and with coaxing and convincing finds its way to our hearts. Think it, so we can do it.
Envision Possibilities: There is purpose in the prompting. Whether it be making a phone call or writing an encouraging note, helping someone load groceries into their car, pre-paying the order for the person behind you at the drive-thru (yes, the one that impatiently blew their horn at you). We must also see the possibilities in the acts that alter our destinies and believe in God’s power to see them through to completion. God won’t bring you to it, if he won’t bring you through it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Show up: This should be the easy part, but when resistance is stronger than readiness, a battle ensues. “Do I have to go out there? I’m so comfortable in this zone. Can’t I just stay here?” The answer is an emphatic “No!” Sorry, but the only way to answer the call to action is to get up and get out there. If we just show up, we will be empowered to make a difference.
Engaged: Ten years ago, we knew engaged was a term used to describe the promise of future marriage, today the word is thrown into every sales pitch, every public forum, and every blog. Engaged has come to mean we identify with and adopt a situation to the point of internalizing it. The acts we perform are an outpouring of what has become part of us.
Have you heard a call to action? Has God spoken to you about coasting? Has He asked you to take one small step outside your comfort zone? Just start! Attitude, Envision Possibilities, just Show up, be Engaged.
This first Tuesday of Advent, December 2, 2015 has us in Isaiah 52:7-10
The scripture reminds me of times when I felt lost, like nobody cared and suddenly someone would call to tell me something exciting, or I’d get a letter or email from someone who had good news to share. When the Bible was first written there were no phones, no postal service, and if you can believe it – no Internet. But even back then good news was exciting and people craved it. Good news was incentive; it gave them hope. Read for yourself from the NIV translation.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.