As I have become “more mature,” I have found that often I find home more inviting that something that is “not home,” especially on these cold winter days. I sometimes find it harder to motivate myself to get out of my warm comfortable space and do things, even if I know they need to be done. But of course if we don’t motivate ourselves then perhaps God will allow our motivation to come from somewhere else.
I reminded of an incident that happened when I was about 18 years old. I was helping build a house with my dad and others in one of the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. There was an old stray dog that showed up on the job site. He was really skittish and afraid to get too close to us, probably he had been mistreated by someone. Anyway, I kept trying to win his confidence and even shared some of my lunch with him. He finally seemed to become a little more trusting and even took some food from my hand. He backed off and sat down and then surprisingly he yelped loudly, jumped up and took off running. I was mystified until I went over and looked at where he had sat down. There was an electrical cord with two frayed wires just where he had sad down. He received an unexpected shock and a lot motivation to vacate the premises.
What is it that you know you should be doing and are not? I’m convinced that there are a great many people who don’t begin to use their talents or God given abilities. They are comfortable and don’t want to get out of that comfort zone. Sometimes we enjoy the comfort of hearing others teach, but perhaps we should be teaching ourselves. Isn’t the church always asking (sometimes begging) for those to help teach? What about serving? Do we ever really have enough people to do the many things that need to be done within our church family? That takes a lot of forms such as cooking, cleaning, visiting, sharing, comforting, encouraging just to name a few.
There is a parable told by Jesus meant to motivate us to do what we should be doing. It is about three men who are given talents (in this case money) and told to use them for their Lord. Two did, but one buried his and gained nothing for his master, (Matthew 25:14-30). In the end Jesus said, “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (vs 29-30)
Let’s hope that God doesn’t have to give us this kind of “shocking” motivation to get us to use our talents. Don’t think you don’t have any, God gives them to us all, it’s up to you to discover them and develop them.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.