Wake-up Call

"Guy walks into a doctor’s office for a checkup. He says ‘Doc, my arm hurts when I do this.’ The doctor says ‘then don’t do that anymore.’"— Henny Youngman

That one works better when you say it out loud. Try it and see. Isn’t that always the way, though? Jokes are better when they are told. Music is better when you sing along. Magic happens when we move from concept to action and interaction.

We place a lot of emphasis on activity around here. The Water and Stone elevator pitch, the thing we say when folks ask us what we believe, is "God is Good, You are Good, Go do Good." We take classes and we read books, but our success metric has less to do with a full library and more to do with a full life. The goal is to feel that personal relationship with Spirit so profoundly that we can’t shut up about it. You know you’re on the right track when your thoughts and feelings are so beautiful, profound, and unstoppable that they can’t be contained. They become experiences and actions.

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:26, NASB)

Totally agree. But what are works without faith? Just as faith without works never gets where it wants to go, outer action without inner connection doesn’t know where it’s headed.

Or where to stop. It’s easy to believe that the name of the game is an action-packed schedule, that the  measure of happiness is exhaustion. People trade stories of how busy, and weary, they are like they were baseball cards. But the lillies of the field don’t toil. They just are. There’s a prosperity lesson there.

So what’s the balance? How do I tell the difference between the Lord’s business and my ego’s busyness? There’s a simple test. Look at your life, your job, your relationships, your interactions, your to-do list. For each line item, ask yourself this question:

Does this wear me out?

Let’s remember that God doesn’t get tired. If there’s something in my life that drags me down instead of lifting me up, maybe I’m giving from the wrong place.

Do a mental inventory. Do a heart inventory. How much of what you do is just marking time, like a mild anesthetic? How much is inspirational? How much is out-and-out exhausting? You have a choice, you know.

Start now. Sure, some agenda items make take a while. But there are some easy things you can either stop doing or start doing with intention. There is drama you can skip. There are diversions you can eliminate. There are relationships you can focus on. You’ll start to pick up speed. From there, things that used to feel inevitable will become manageable. You’ll have the momentum you need to tackle what’s left.

You are meant to have a productive life. That’s necessary, in fact, if we are going to change the world. So let’s get to it. Do you want to be successful? Find the joy. Follow it. Express it. You’ll get better at it. And if you want to find the joy, stop doing the things that make you sleepy. You deserve an awake life, and the world deserves a joyful YOU.