I write as a road-race for charity is underway in England’s northeast. Some forty-thousand runners are spending several hours running a half-marathon to raise money for a wide ranging list of charities. I watch from the comfort of my soft leather chair, encouraged by the efforts of others yet doing nothing on my own.
It is almost too easy to be critical. The question is one of action. The blunt fact is that “just as a door turns on its hinges, so a lazybones turns back over in bed.” (Proverbs 26.14) There is lots of talk on all sides with little action as a result.
I sat in church the other day as the worship leader struggled with an extremely difficult subject. As his words provoke reflection and a clearer sight of God, I found myself wondering about the people sitting in the seats around and including my own. Did we realize that souls were and are at risk? Do we believe that lives are at stake, including our own? How much are we willing to risk for the rescuing lives? Is it critical?
Given the lack of action, sitting on the warm chair this morning and casually reflecting during church, I struggle with an inner sense of criticality. Life continues in spite of my inaction. People press on even as I enjoy the warmth of my bed well into the day. It is hard to imagine people grabbling with life numbing pain as I write with our dog Mollie’s head blissfully laying across my legs in a daylight siesta.
I do not believe every moment needs to be wrapped in the high pressured atmosphere of a critical-care facility. There are opportunities for each in the moments present and in front of us. We can reach out and touch the lives of those around us with mercy, love, and most of all compassion. We can deliver what the world most desperately lacks, hope. We can freely give a scarce commodity, unconditional acceptance. We can model what others desperately seek, peace.
We can and it is critical.