Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Need for Urgency

   The world is not right.  It has not been right for a long time.  And for as true as those words are, most people spend inordinate amounts of energy denying them.  They deny them with their behavior, their attitude, and recruit others to deny them, too.  The world is not right, but most folks keep on living as if everything were copasetic or very satisfactory. 
   It extends beyond the world.  There is brokenness found in our companies, our social groups, our churches, our homes, and in our lives.  Yet, there we are again, working tirelessly to keep things the same.  Why is that?
   From the deep truths of Scripture, we read of a time when things were right, before the Fall (Genesis 1-3).  Our free will changed that – we choose to embrace half-truths and laziness and selfishness.  The rest of the Scriptures tell of God’s work to put things back together, and redeem all of Creation.  God is not at work alone, though.  From the beginning of time, God has partnered with humanity to care for what was created, and to even do a little creating and re-creating of our own.  From Noah to Nicodemus, Moses to Mary, even Pharoah to Pilate, God is working to make things right again.  One New Testament writer suggests that Jesus’ ministry could best be described as putting all of Creation back together (Ephesians 1:10). 
   If God has seen fit to deploy his best to bring about change, what is our roadblock?  Here we are living as things were acceptable.  Nature is suffering and nations are warring.  Around the corner from us, people are hurting and some are dying.  But we spend all day just trying to get to the next day.  Most folks have reached a place where there is little urgency to change things.  While we might not like things the way they are, we eventually choose to allow them to remain. 
   List to your self the things you most recently have felt urgent about?  How many of those would you be willing to admit to someone else?  Or, did many of them seem trivial, silly, or even selfish.  What would happen if we regained a sense of urgency around things that matter?  (see John Kotter's work on urgency in bringing about change).  What if we spent our days working so the next day was significantly better, for us and for others?  Could there be such a thing as holy urgency?
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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