40Acts have rather gone by the wayside recently, as I have found them difficult to do – not necessarily because they are challenging, but because they aren’t terribly practical (in the sense of what we’re being asked to do). I hesitate a little over some acts, as I feel I am doing it because I’ve been told to, not because I want to…but then, if I don’t want to do it, shouldn’t I do it anyway because that’s part of the nature of sacrificial giving?
I think there is a tendency to almost see the Acts as a tick list., completed with a crow of delight if that was something I was going to do anyway! Tick. V.G. I don’t need to do anything else now cos I’ve done that! (whatever “that” was).
I want this to change how I see things, how I behave. It is something that should affect me way beyond Easter and the end of Lent. This is not 40 Acts and then it’s over, but 40 Acts+ another 40 + another…and another…on and on. And I’m not sure it’s quite got to that point with me yet.
The last few Acts have been difficult to fulfill…
SATURDAY: DAY 28: ROLL YOUR SLEEVES UP: Unbutton those cuffs and let’s get elbows-deep. This is all about practical generosity; the kind that gets things done – no fuss. It’s about seeing a need and working out how to provide a practical solution. It might need good planning and forethought, or it could just be a spur-of-the-moment thing.
This was about practical helping: I was a bit preoccupied by sermon writing/service planning, but when I popped out to the bakers and chemist I kept my eyes open for people needing help. Nobody appeared to be in need, but I did help Mr FD mending his bike, by holding pieces of chain together while he pinned them. Not really very earth shattering, it has to be said!
MONDAY: DAY 29: BLESS THE BOSS: Being the boss sounds quite glam, but the reality is that leadership can be pretty hard going if you’re trying to do it well. There are probably bosses/church leaders/authority figures in your life that have never failed to step up and be a blessing. Wouldn’t it be really good to give them a heavy dose of blessing back? Today is your day to take charge.
I am Auto-Entrepreneur – I am my own boss. Maybe I should be kind to myself today?! No, I don’t think that’s the point is it?!
There was a suggestion we might encourage our worship leaders and pastors. As I sent Rob a message a couple of weeks back, I felt another one might be going a bit OTT!! I suppose you could say I helped the Pastor by being available to take the service on Sunday – but that’s a bit “tick V.G.” What I mean by this is thinking I don’t need to engage with the Act because I’ve already done it. I’ve ticked it off the list. No, I should be finding another way to do something. I’m not sure what though!
TUESDAY: DAY 30: BE FIRST: There are probably very few scenarios where we ought to push for ‘first’. One is the Olympics. The other is volunteering. The thing is, if you wait for someone else to put their hand up before you, you miss the opportunity to make a generous difference. It might be a tiny ripple or a mighty wave of change. Today, be willing to put the hard work in when nobody else wants to. Be first to raise your hand.
I’m not much of a volunteer. Unless it’s something I like doing!! Being at home all day working sort of means that I don’t get much chance to volunteer for stuff. But I think this is one challenge that I need to keep under my hat for that day when someone asks for volunteers! Then God can just
whisper shout in my ear “Oy! Remember Day 30!”
I have volunteered for some cleaning duties next Saturday, at the Church office. Argh. Me? Cleaning?! And palm cross making too. And singing at a concert I really don’t want to go to… So maybe I’m not doing quite so badly after all…!
(I have my ironing to do this afternoon…Somewhere there’s an unwelcome little voice suggesting I should also do Mr FD’s!)
I think with all of the last three Acts I need to bear them in mind for when the opportunity arises – because I’m sure it will, and it is then that I must seize the opportunity for sacrificial action – not because “it’s Day 30 and this is what I have to do” but because this is what God wants me to do.
It’s like my sermon on Sunday said:
I have to die to myself and what I want to do, and become what God wants me to become, and do what God wants me to do.