March 29, 2011

Do You Walk the Walk?

Recently, Nancy and I wasted nearly two hours watching the movie The American starring George Clooney. We know others watching the same film might think it deserves an Academy Award, but we wish we had used the time more productively.

I have always had difficulty managing my time at work and especially in my private life. Experts suggest the secret to managing our time is to set long term goals according to what is important to us, then devote eighty percent of our time each day at work or at home to accomplish our goals. “Work smarter, not harder” is the mantra we should adopt.

Back in 1977, I prepared a list of long term goals I hoped to accomplish before I die. As I review that list today, I find it embarrassing that the only goal involving my faith in God was a commitment to attend church every Sunday. I certainly knew then, and I’m even more convinced now, that discipleship requires much more than regular church attendance.

Discipleship is reflected in everything we do, every decision we make, every opinion we hold, every amusement we seek and every action we take. Most important, a lifetime goal of discipleship should reflect our commitment to the teachings of Jesus through our devotion to God and our service to others.

In Stanley Kubrick’s award winning film, Full Metal Jacket, a battle tested veteran chastises a pompous new arrival to the Viet Nam War with this candid inquiry: “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

Jesus challenges each of us who love him to “walk the walk” of action-oriented discipleship.