I’m an observer by nature. Most often you’ll find me on the sidelines watching instead of hanging out in the middle of the action.
I remember one time in sixth grade a classmate was hosting a birthday slumber party. That night eight of the ten girls there decided to go streaking through her neighborhood. (It was quite popular in the early seventies for all you young folks.) Yep, it was me and the chubby girl from class who stood in the shadows out of range of the street lights and guarded their clothes.
Fast forward a few years to High School. I was still living on the sidelines. I was never invited to any of those “wild parties” I heard some kids talking about each Monday morning, but if I had gone, it would be a sure bet who the DD would have been. I did go with a group of friends from church one Halloween night on a TP adventure – (we called it yard-rolling). I sat in the truck to watch for the porch lights. Then my job was to give a short honk on the horn to warn the gang. Never threw the first roll of toilet paper into a tree. I was in the truck imagining my friends running from buck shot or falling 20 feet off a tree limb and breaking a leg or even worse, a neck!
While I probably avoided a great deal of trouble in my life by observing instead of participating, I’m sure I missed some really fun times as well. Since the beginning of this year I have felt God lovingly shutting down my sideline status. He’s pulled me out onto the field several times lately and I have to say I didn’t hate it.
Something else that’s contributed to getting me off the sidelines has been my reading material. In December I started a Through the Bible in a Year plan. I have to tell you when you get into the Word, and the Word gets into you, you are NOT satisfied to just sit and read it. You have to get up and LIVE it!
I also read the book 66 Love Letters, by Dr. Larry Crabb. This is a great companion piece to reading through the Bible. Each chapter covers a book of the Bible in a conversational style between the author and God as He reveals His love letters to humanity from Genesis all the way through Revelation. This book changed my view of God. But it also revealed areas in my life where I need to make sure my walk matches my talk.
Another book on my Reading List was Radical, by Dr. David Platt. My take away from reading this book is that being a disciple of Jesus is not a sideline job. “Following” is an action word. It requires movement and involvement.
And the last book I finished was The Christian Atheist, by Craig Groeschel. Now that’s a title that will get your attention, right? The tag line to this book says a lot: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist. Talk about convicting. This was like a flashing neon sign for moving me off the sideline of my spiritual life.
I might even go so far as to say that if one is only an observer of their spiritual life, there’s not much living going on. So how about it? Want to join me in leaving the sidelines behind? I’m no longer satisfied being merely an observer of my own life. Let’s get in the game and start actively pursuing life, real life, in Jesus as our greatest passion. Who’s in?