Those of you who have followed my musings in this publication know that I am a typical fair-weather sports fan, following the teams very well when they do well and then not so much when they are doing poorly. I have been reading recently about the various struggles of the Celtics as they seemed to be ascendant but are, according to most sports-minded folks, suddenly back to rebuilding and maybe even sub-.500 for next year. The Patriots seem to fire on all cylinders year after year. The Red Sox, similarly, have struggled and are, by their own manager’s admission, underperforming their potential.
Summer is a time for relaxing and reflection. So what about our faith? Are we in a time where we are ascending or rebuilding? Are we faith alive on all cylinders? Or are we maybe underperforming our potential? I know I go through many times in life where I get very enamored with reading about and discussing Jesus, thinking about what I should do as I read the troubles in the world around us and simmer in self-righteous indignation.
But in those times, I get pretty lazy about following Jesus, or actually DOING the work of love, justice, mercy, and compassion. One of the nice things about living in Townsend is that we have the opportunity for knowing richly and deeply our neighbors, our town, and we have a pretty good group of committed folks who help organize groups which welcome new involvement. Have you checked out our website lately? Our community partners includes the Townsend Land Trust, NM Cares, 119 Connections, FACET, NAMI, and the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries to name a few. It doesn’t take a lot of time to DO the faith. But it does take some courage to step out and try a new thing.
Now, fortunately, we’re not talking about pleasing faith-weather sports fans with the results of our efforts. If a General Manager or coach doesn’t win soon, they might find themselves out of a job. But the great thing about building the Kingdom of God, right here, right now, has no such expectations. Jesus says try something … one thing … something that shows your heart and heart’s passion, and live it in love, mercy, justice, and compassion. And if it doesn’t work out, try again. There’s no scorecard, and you can’t possibly get fired. But we will have many days where we feel sub-.500 or feel like we are underperforming our potential.
That’s OK to be there, but let’s not give ourselves permission to STAY there. God’s love and forgiveness lets us have these moments of relaxation and reflection, and when our batteries are re-charged come back and do some wonderful work in the world. So just like the Celts and Sox, let’s not give into others defining us as one-and-done. What do you want to do? Come on in and let’s talk about it, and find that your calling is closer than you think.