I’ve always been pretty good with directions. There was a time when I got very lost in a sketchy area of Sacramento following my high school’s senior prom, but my date and the other couple with us seemed to enjoy the adventure of it all and things worked themselves out, but other than that one time, I cannot recall if I have ever been so lost that I did not know how to find my way out. My mom will tell you stories of how when I was a very little version of me, I would disappear in department stores only to be found hiding inside those round clothing racks presumably just playing a game, but as far as I can remember, I have a difficult time getting lost even when I try. That is up until these past couple of weeks.
Recently I have felt lost. I have been lost underneath the pile of books that I always seem to have around me. If they are not stacked on the table I am sitting at, they are in the bags that I have been carrying around as I work through the mountain of school work I have each week. I have been lost underneath a mountain of theories, principles, theology, and vocabulary while the thoughts in my try painstakingly to move the mountain from on top of me onto the computer screen that I sit in front of even as I write this. Daunting is not good enough an adjective to describe the intellectual challenges I have stepped into, challenges which found me lost and not sure where I was, buried at the bottom of a mountain. Yet even there, a glimmer of hope fell across my eyes as I worked to dig myself out.
Amid the whirlwind of textbooks and journal articles, there were many a time where I just needed to believe that there was more to life than just what I could find in a book or read about online. There had to be more to truth than vague and conflicting conceptions of what is real. There needed to be something tangible that I could hold onto. With my head spinning and my heart aching I stumbled across this quote by Ron Highfield:
“The Son of God did not become incarnate, die, and triumph over death to solve a theoretical dilemma.”
And just like that, I could see a tunnel of light leading me out from under the mountain.
Highfield’s statement fell in the middle of a paper written to argue against another person’s theory, and there I was attempting to argue my own. Yet with arguments upon arguments he was still able to see that arguments without action are void. Let me say that again: arguments without action are void.
Jesus was a man of action.
It seems to me that so much of the popular Christian culture lives in the realm of the theoretical, myself included. It is a wonderful thing, for example, to know and understand that we are all generally called to share the gospel with everybody, yet so often we decide that it is fine to keep this understanding to ourselves. We actively choose personal comfort over our greater responsibility of acting.
When Jesus was faced with the most difficult of situations, he still chose to act. Yet when I am faced with even the most simple of propositions, I choose passivity. I need Christ to activate my life in a way that my own selfish desires cannot. I need Christ to activate my potential to live out the dreams that he has placed into my heart. I need Christ to activate my will to choose to do what is good and what is right when everything else seems to be going entirely wrong. Arguments without action are void, but in order to act, we need Christ to activate us.