Turns out a big part of savouring, or giving myself to the enjoyment of life, has been the word “action.”
As in, be an active participant in my life rather than a spectator. What does action look like this month? I’m glad you asked.
The phrase “do something” is on my mind a lot. It pops up when I’m driving down a dark, windy road and see two pedestrians with a gas can. “Do something.” It happens again when I’m at the grocery store and a woman is struggling with her load. “Do something.” It even appears when a co-worker seems upset. “Do something.”
More often than not, I pass by these situations for the usual rationalizations. It’s not safe to stop, what if the person thinks I’m trying to steal her groceries, work isn’t a time to get personal. But is this a good representation of my faith?
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2:14 NLT)
Focusing on acting my faith (doing something) has prompted conviction in my heart. There is so much more I could be doing, and don’t because of laziness, fear, and selfishness.
Self-centredness is another reason I don’t act more. Much of the time I’m so preoccupied with my own affairs I’m not convinced I’d even notice if there was something I could do for someone else. I love being comfortable. If you’re anything like me, you know how easy to look the other way when something is uncomfortable or to let things pass when your friends bring up something you disagree with.
I’m realizing it’s a lot less work to only care about myself, but if I live like this, I’m not fulfilling Jesus’ command to love one another. In fact, Mark 12:29-31 says the greatest commands in all of Scripture are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
These convictions intensified and culminated one day when, while on my way to work, I witnessed a fender bender. My first instinct was to continue on. It didn’t seem serious and everyone looked OK.
The shame hit in an instant. In my heart I knew I was looking the other way, taking the easy way out. So I pulled over, ran across the road, and introduced myself. There were five or six cars at the intersection when the accident happened and I was the only one who pulled over. And I wasn’t going to.
What if someone was hurt? What if the driver at fault took off? What did it cost me to stop and see if I could help? Was my time so valuable I couldn’t spare a moment for someone else’s benefit?
After leaving my contact information and ensuring everyone was fine, the woman who was hit said, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” I wasn’t sure. Was it church? Was it work? I don’t know. What I did know is how glad I was that I stopped and, finally, did something.
Maybe the next time she sees me she’ll think, “That girl did something, I wonder why?” Instead of, “Hey, there’s that person who kept driving.”
And you know what? I wasn’t even late for work.