Tag Archives: participant

The Observer

If any of you follow the television series Fringe, you will know who the Observers are. They look weird. They act weird. They talk weird. And they don’t actually do much except observe.

There are a lot of people just like them in the non-Fringe world around us. I don’t mean in a creepy science fiction way. I’m talking about people who live their entire lives as observers, never actually doing much. Never participating. Never really engaging in life.

How sad.

I understand that for some people it’s very difficult to step out and be a participant. They’re painfully shy. Or they’ve been hurt. There could be any number of reasons. But for many, many observers, they are that way because it simply takes too much effort to do anything else. They’ve fallen into a rut, developed habits that keep them there, and the thought of climbing out of the rut just doesn’t occur to them. Or if it does, they don’t take it seriously.

It’s called laziness.

And now I’ll share a little secret.

You get to choose the kind of life you live.

No, you don’t have a choice about who your parents are, or where you were born, or how you spent your early childhood. But you have a choice now. You can let the negative things that happened in your past dictate what happens to your future. You can allow yourself to fall into the trap that tells you nothing will change – to be an observer of life because it’s too hard to be anything else.

Or . . .

You can make the decision to be a participant. Take charge of your future. Plan. Set goals. Walk it out.

No excuses. You’re not too old. You’re not too young. You are smart enough. You do have the ability. You can do it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it – especially other observers who don’t want you to convert to participation.

And it’s a really good idea to get God involved. He’s a great coach!

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Ephesians 2:1-6 (The Message)

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The Race

Our pastor preached a great sermon in church yesterday. Really great. I’m not going to rehash the whole thing here, but I will pass on just a little of what I took away.

The life of faith is not a sit-back-and-take-it-easy kind of thing. The life of faith is not without bumps and turns and knocks. The life of faith is hard. But the life of faith is also the most satisfying, comforting, peace-giving, joyful, growing, loving, successful, relationship-building, and intimate fellowship with Jesus.

The life of faith requires participation.

Being a spectator is easy. A participant, however, gets into the action. Decisions must be made. Messes must be cleaned up. Changes must take place. And every step has a purpose.

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.  – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (The Message)

If you’re going to run the race, you’d better make sure that every step counts.


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