Here is this month’s church newsletter article. Enjoy!
The Gospel According to Nike?!
Do you remember Nike’s “Just do it” campaign? It started in 1998, but remains one of the most recognizable slogans ever used in advertising. I don’ t know how effective it has been at getting people to buy Nike products, but the concept is brilliant. Nike, I assume, understands that most people know what they need to do: we know we need to be physically active if we want to be healthy; we know we need to condition if we want to be in shape; we know we need to practice if we want to be skilled athletes; we know we need to show up if we want to win. The problem is: all-too-often, we just don’t do it.
The same is true in matters of faith. In most situations, most of us know what God wants from us. While there are certainly times when God’s desires are unclear, those times are – we have to admit – relatively rare. We know God wants us to be gracious and forgiving; we know God wants us to be generous with our time and resources; we know God wants us to have integrity between our stated beliefs and actions; we know God wants us to live in faithful community. The problem is: all-to-often, we just don’t do it.
I often find myself wondering: Why?
The answer, of course, is simple. It’s the same whether we’re talking about sports or faith: we don’t, because – for whatever reason – we have decided that other things are more important. Sometimes we make those decisions intentionally (“I’m not going to commit to the training required for a triathlon because it’s more important that I spend that time with my family”), other times we make such decisions by default (we hit the snooze button one too many times and didn’t make it to church). Either way, it’s a decision.
The wonderful thing about these kinds of decisions are that they’re remarkably easy to change. Doctors tell us that we don’t need to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. As a minister, I can assure you – going to seminary isn’t necessary to be a faithful Christian. In both cases, the answer is simply: just do it. Just get out the door and talk a walk; just go to worship; just ride your bike; just spend a day working in the flood zone; just….
And just do it, today. “Tomorrow” is the biggest enemy to any life change, and if you’re waiting for someone else to make you do it, it’ll never happen.
I’m not an athletic trainer, so I’m not the right person to give advice on how to be a better tennis player. I am, however, a minister – which means, among other things, that I’m eager to help you be a more faithful Christian. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to “just do” or how to “just do it” give me a call or drop me an e-mail.
James 3:13, 17