I once had a friend tell me, “I’d rather play football than watch football.” His reasoning was key, “Why would I want to watch someone else get into shape when I could be doing it?” He wanted to be a doer, not a viewer.
I was thinking about this idea recently as we continue construction on our house. In home construction, there are those who sprint, those who run a marathon, and those who take a long adventurous trail hike. We are the latter. We have been building on our house for several years. There are periods in our building process when we pause to spend time looking at Fine Home Building magazines, read design books, go to Lowes, or watch HGTV to get ideas of how we want to do something. During that time we become what I think of as information gatherers. In that case, I would say that the viewing is actually doing something. It’s training our minds, giving us data we can use, teaching us how and sometimes motivating us toward that goal to which we are striving.
An individual ceases being an information gatherer and moves to viewer when they stop doing.
I can apply this to my life as a Christian too. Jesus calls us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). I have been given an awesome opportunity as a believer to do something. I have been called to go out and make disciples! That’s pretty exciting. And God calls me to “do” other things too. He tells me to forgive, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, be holy because He is holy, honor my father and mother, and so much more. All of those things are “doing.”
In the process of the doing, I am also called to assemble together with other believers. God gives me opportunities to fellowship, to be encouraged, to learn so that I might better do. I like to look at that fellowship time as my information gathering time. I have the opportunity to listen to others teach me, hear how they are doing in their journey and gain motivation for the journey. Reading God’s Word is also a great time to gather information. It also brings me to the throne of God where I might allow Him to speak directly to me and build me up in Christ.
Then I can do. Then I can go therefore and make disciples… I can forgive, love others, build others up in Christ, honor my parents, seek His kingdom… and I am never alone in the doing. I am on God’s team. He is with me the whole way!
To my friend who could not see the value in watching a football game I would challenge him to consider how watching the game helps him learn the moves, see others succeed and even stumble. By viewing, a person becomes aware of the game. Sometimes it is all right to stop building the house and read a few books, magazines, explore the lighting department at Lowes, and watch HGTV, as long as we don’t stop there. We need to do. We need to put into practice the information we’ve been gathering.
Christians, we benefit greatly from our fellowship time! We learn how others succeed and even stumble. We see areas of our lives where we need to grow. We become refreshed for the doing. We desperately need our time alone with God, allowing Him to teach us from His Word and refresh us by His Spirit. Then we can be better prepared to do.