Going Through the Motions

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

It was a blustery fall day … with the wind gusting to 35 mph (according to the radio). Leaves swirled down the street as I drove through our neighborhood. Turning right on the main street lined with businesses, I literally stared in amazement at the man in front of the store to my right.  

He was busily removing leaves from the parking lot … using a leaf blower. Did he not get it? No matter how hard he worked, he would never make any progress. His actions were futile. Perhaps it was his business and he wanted to look as good as possible. Maybe he had been hired to clear away the leaves. As long as I could see him in my rearview mirror, he continued going through the motions of blowing away the leaves … a never-ending job.  

I’ve seen Christians like that … and I’ve been one.  

For years I went through the motions of “being” a Christian. Everyone knew a Christian could be identified by what they wore, words they didn’t say, if they carried a Bible, if the ladies wore no makeup or jewelry, and for sure that they went to church “religiously” every time there was a service.  

Oh yes, I used my leaf blower through the wind, rain, sleet and snow. I would show the world I was a Christian. Little did I know that the world looked at me just like I looked at that man. And they probably said to themselves, “Does she not get it? Why would I want to go through life just doing the motions?” But I had a job to do.  

My actions were not only futile, but they caused damage in others.  

I’ve put my leaf blower away. I no longer go through the motions. Since I have a personal relationship with Jesus, I am aware of my world around me. If someone has a need and I can help, then I miss church.  

That’s what Jesus would do.  

“Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” James 1:26-27 (MSG)


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