Friday, May 20, 2011

Get moving!

A life lesson from a centipede. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by  such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1)

I’ve tried for years to understand why the Home Shopping Network is so popular. My mother enjoys having it on at home, since she doesn’t have time or energy outside of work to go out and shop all the time. But, when I’ve watched it, I’m always amazed at how many products are sold. As the tan, polished, and rehearsed salesperson explains why you can’t live without a specific baking dish or hair cream, the sales count skyrockets at lightning speed before the bell chimes and “Sold Out” flash on the screen, disappointing thousands of comparison shoppers. 

It’s not just the materialism that gets me, but the number of people who are likely sitting at home staring at their screen, perhaps contemplating calling in for a testimonial. The issue of stagnation and idleness is nothing new in our culture, and yet it’s coupled with the busyness. We're a culture that sets our treadmill on high during the day and pulls out the red emergency plug to stop at night. In the midst of the chaos we often encounter struggles of injustice and sin only to be too exhausted or too hurt or too afraid to confront the issue. And so darkness wins again. 

When I found this centipede today, I thought for a long time about a life lesson to gain from it. Personally, I think centipedes are really disgusting, and I almost ignored it when I did find it. But, when I lifted up a board and saw them scatter everywhere, I was amazed at how quickly they move. (Granted, having multiple legs probably helps.) What they have to share with us is not, I think, incentive to join a recreational center (though that's always good advice); they should remind us to get up and get moving. Period. Don't just let life happen to you.

It's easy, in the midst of everything, to allow life to negatively affect us. And it's more than bad moods or difficult circumstances: We are in battle. Instead of drowning in the pain of a headache, sitting in anger at unjust treatment, or silently giving in to temptation, we must stand up and demand another Way. Opposition is inevitable, but we do have a choice to use the resources the Lord has given us. Remember the power of the name of Jesus Christ and say it out loud. Remind the authority in which you live your life. And refuse to settle for anything less than wholeness and joy. If you face a challenge today, don't let it rule over you. Use the legs God has given you. Go find the Word, go into your closet to pray, go on a walk, or go meet with the Body. Don't just stand there. Get moving!

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