Stand Up – Lynne Carter

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Ok, so I’m not exactly technologically minded, and sadly, I’m not exactly intent on physical exertion either. So, you can imagine that the last thing you would find accessorizing my wardrobe is a Fitbit or any other such mechanism used to gauge daily movements. Of course, many people around me are wearing them, and I’m often graced with hearing their daily results. I’m good about nodding my congratulatory regards when my friends triumph over their 10,000 steps. “Yay!” I say. “Yay for 10,000 steps”. But recently I was introduced to a new marker that gauges how long you have stood up. “Wow!” I say. “Wow, you stood up.” I try to look amazed because if the wrist gauger says it’s an accomplishment, then I in turn must acknowledge this tremendous accomplishment. Indeed, my encouraging expressions confirm that you, my friend, have done some pretty awesome standing today. “Wow! I hope it goes just as well tomorrow,” I encourage. But truthfully, I’ve quietly imagined entertaining conversations about standing. Can you imagine my forefathers traipsing across the prairies saying, “Hey, Jedidiah, how long did you stand today?” “Well, Samuel, according to my wrist contraption, it says I’m 45 minutes short from yesterday’s stand record of 17 hours.” “Do not be too forlorn Jedidiah- you’re a strong man. I know tomorrow you’re likely to stand for 17 hours again.” “I hope so Samuel. I just pray the Lord will give me the wherewithal to stand long tomorrow.” “Amen to that, Samuel.”

So, seriously, can you imagine our forefathers listening to our accomplishment of remaining vertical for a sustained period of time? I can’t begin to imagine their confusion or amusement to our seeming accomplishment when such fetes were once a requirement to survival. But with today’s technology, we can actually chronicle each of our successes and therefore further motivate ourselves to continue in our pursuits of fitness.

But, what if we were to break from our routine and accumulate our energies into not just standing, but into taking a stand. What if we gauged our accomplishments on the heights of our passions and thus our willingness to take a stand for what matters most to us. Not just standing up to beat lethargy as our technology urges us to do but taking a stand to combat complacency and initiate action. We’re seeing a surge, especially in our youth, of rising-up, of taking a stand, of making sure one’s voice is heard for the purpose of change. We see it in women taking a stand against the abuses that have universally plagued our gender. We see it among our black brothers who are no longer willing to allow injustices to infiltrate its people. And through these passionate stands we are paving the way for change.

Although our Fitbits cannot gauge our levels of zeal or passion, I think we can all agree that when we’ve fervently pursued our passions or when we’ve dedicated ourselves to a purpose and are willing to take a stand for it, those are the moments we feel most alive. That very aliveness is so contagious. It’s a state-of-being that invites others into one’s passion. The vitality of one’s passion is one’s strongest witness and one’s eagerness to take a stand is what readily defeats complacency. The Bible warns against complacency in Proverbs 1:32 when it states that the complacency of fools will destroy them. We were not made to be passive or to be mute. As stated in Zephaniah 1:12, the Lord seeks to punish the men who are stagnant in heart. Indeed, we are meant to be individuals engaged with life to such an extent that we are brought to our feet with enthusiasm. True passion radiates and naturally lures others to also embrace this passion. Dr. James Emery White believes that complacency is the root for the decline in certain churches. Being easily satisfied with the status quo, or being complacent, does not lead to growth. No one seeks out stagnancy.

If our passion and our willingness to take a stand are some of our greatest witnesses, how does that affect our faith journey. Our instinct would have us think that hate is the opposite of love, but in fact, indifference is the opposite of love. Does our relationship with Jesus or our approach to the Bible stir our passions? Do we reach beyond our safe Christian bubbles, and take radical stands for our Christian beliefs? Or do we remain inactive and unmoved-stagnant in spirit? Does not an impoverished spirit nullify your witness? Revelation 3:15 assures us that our indifference is not the Lord’s desire.

Revelation 3:15-17 New International Version (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Does this verse imply that God considers our richest moments as those experienced at the pinnacles of our passions? I hope you read these words and felt God’s pleading for vibrancy. I hope you sense God saying, “Please, Beloved, please take a stand for me. Take a knee for me in prayer. But, please don’t walk away in indifference.” We are not asked to settle for status quo. We are asked to stand up and step out. Imagine that if a Fitbit could collect the data for the moments we take a stand and defy complacency, it would most certainly measure that we have indeed reached our pinnacle of richness. Along with your 10,000 steps, I also encourage you to seek your pinnacle of richness that God is so eager to share with you through a passionate pursuit of Him.

lynne
Lynne Carter is the mother of four with two still in college. She is currently in the final chapters of her great American novel. When not writing she can be found walking on the greenway or at her favorite antique stores. Her favorite Bible stories are those of God’s unending grace, and she hopes her own writing can instill that same message.

 

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