Friday, 18 March 2016

Be The Who

Who Could Be Bothered
While it may be true that most marathons are won by the fittest, strongest, healthiest runner, it is also no doubt true that they are nearly always actually won by the tiredest, weariest, most exhausted runner! In fact, most of life’s greatest achievements are achievements are accomplished by very tired, weary and exhausted people. As we consider the days leading up to the First Easter we see Jesus who was during this week often talking all day with His disciples then up all night talking with His Father. By the night of the Last Supper He would have been very very weary. His subsequent achievements that First Easter must be regarded as the greatest achievement ever wrought in the Universe - and was done by the tiredest, weariest, most exhausted Man of all time who could be bothered. 
¶ The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Proverbs 30:1

AC/DC told the world that it was a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. In times past it used to take ten to twenty years for an artist or a band to become an overnight success. Today with “reality” TV, YouTube and TV Talent shows, the illusion is created that it no longer takes work, effort, diligence, adversity, rejection, failure, or relentless practice, like our forebears believed, to achieve success. Added to this illusion are the TV detective shows where a crime is committed and solved in just under an hour, or the weight-loss TV series where contestants lose two-thirds of their body weight in just ten episodes. Little wonder too few people could be bothered when today it seems that success is available for free.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
First Corinthians 15:10

There are so many aspects to life which can only work if its participants can bothered to put the necessary effort into it. For example, marriage requires bothering. When a husband or a wife can no longer be bothered to give their spouse time, consideration, or attention, it should not be a surprise when they begin to feel distance from each other. 
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:28
It’s easy for parents to stop bothering. Defiance, lack of appreciation, and downright rebellion all take their toll on parents - when they can no longer be bothered. It takes resolve, effort, determination - and a lot of bothering for parents to raise their children to be caring, considerate respectful and polite. Whenever you see children who possess these qualities you can be sure they had parents who were very bothered.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

If good marriages, families, jobs, or businesses don’t just happen but instead require that someone be bothered to put in the time, hours, effort, and sweat, then chances are that other endeavours also require bothering. I have come to know this to be true of my walk with the Lord.
The preparations for this Easter have been pretty intense for me. Many times I’ve been up at 5AM getting my day off to an unavoidably early start to make it to a Committee breakfast meeting in town by 7:30AM. The early start allows me to read the Bible, be quiet (thankfully there are not too many interruptions at that hour), think, reflect, and pray. But this takes effort. There are some mornings when I’d rather stay in bed. These are not the only spiritual disciplines that require bothering - church attendance, home-group Bible studies, mentoring, attending other Christian functions all require sacrifice and exertion. But I’ve learned that bothering has its rewards.
¶ The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Second Corinthians 9:6
Show me someone who bothers and I’ll show you a leader. Leaders bother. They keep going when those who couldn’t be bothered stop. Leaders turn up when others stay home. Leaders come in earlier than others and stay back later than others. If you’re a husband, you’re a leader. If you’re a parent, you’re a leader. And if you haven’t been, it’s time to start bothering
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Is it worth it? When children grow up to be contributing, caring, considerate adults, yes it is. When churches become well attended, evangelistic, passionate in its worship and discipleship, with well-trained leaders, yes, it’s worth it. Ultimately, these temporal rewards pale compared to the eternal rewards awaiting those who bother faithfully.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Matthew 25:21
Be bothered. You may not win the applause of others, or even immediately inspire them to be bothered, but it’ll be well worth hearing the words from the One we worship, “Well done.” Be the ‘who’ in the statement, who could be bothered.

Ps. Andrew

18th March 2016

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