It’s funny where we find a spark of Spirit-wisdom in our normal routines. I happened to catch a recent interview with Yahoo’s new CEO Marisa Mayer, where she recounted the last thing Google founder Sergey Brin told her just before she walked out of his office to begin her new position. He told her, “don’t forget to be bold.” I kept hearing that statement in my head for days, “… be bold…” I too had a former colleague once reminded me that good things can happen sometimes even if all we do is show up, but great things can happen when we take risks– when we get our hands dirty.
Action is at the heart of Christian living. Sure it’s comfortable and sweet to sit and read the scriptures, attending services on Sunday but the true test for our faith, where the rubber meets the road, is in applying the love we learn to the context of the broken world we live in. The first chapter of James poetically notes, “22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1, NIV)
Taking risks can sometimes seem like a scary thing. I remember a visit to the Grand Canyon, when I was younger, and taking one of those tours down into the canyon on the back of a mule. The mule walks right on the outer edge of the path, with no railing between you and a much faster decent into the abyss below. While slow, it was a intense ride but the experience was breathtaking– a perspective of that great space you could not have known otherwise.
When I think of the Disciples, after Pentecost, trying to organize and motivate I feel a rush of energy. Everything Jesus shared with them while he was in their company was done so they could share that same love and wisdom with others, not merely with their words but their actions. They must have been a jumble of emotions, fearing persecution and fumbling but alive in the Spirit and longing to bring the love of their master to the world. We are conduits of God’s love and our challenge is learning where to direct that love. The “acts” of the Disciples and the acts of 1,000’s of holy men and women in the centuries after inspire us to truly be BOLD and trust that the Lord will help us, in all that we do. -Amen!