I'm the type of person who can over think things. As an NF temperament, I'm pretty comfortable within my own skull - beating ideas around all day and thinking through the implications of actions, conversations, and behaviors. There is however one small problem.
Sometimes I never end up doing anything.
It is very easy to get stuck thinking "I need to check with someone else here..." or "I don't feel confident on this yet..." and while those are wise reflections, if we never pass them and finally merge into the traffic of action our wise reflections may become limitations based on our own fear of failure or even lack of faith that Jesus will indeed stop the storm if we stand up in the boat.
It is possible that our thinking and preparing, while often good and holy, can completely distract us from actually doing what we're thinking about and preparing to do. There is no place where this is more appropriate than in the area of being formed into the image of Christ. Jesus had an encounter with a man who had a very reasonable excuse for not following Him - he had just lost his dad and wanted to fulfill his obligation to bury his father. Jesus, in what often sounds cold and calloused to our ears, replies:
Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead. (Matt. 8:12, ESV)
Jesus could see through to the depths of this man's soul and understood that this wasn't a one-and-done excuse. He challenged the heart and nature of the excuse and basically says, "If you go now, I know you'll never come back. You'll get home and think it through and I'll never see you again."
Following Jesus and being formed into His likeness is built not only on intentional, thoughtful living but also on inspired action when the time comes to act.
Here are three key reasons that "doing something" is good for your soul:
1. Just doing something reveals our real priorities and drives. If you've ever said something and then thought, "That just slipped out!" often what you're doing is covering over the fact that what you really think actually made it into the open air. God reveals the deep motives that guide our lives when we simply take action.
2. Just doing something reminds us why it is important to be intentional. While this is a painful process for the planner-personalities, the need to act is often a great reminder that the life of following Jesus is both contemplation and action and to remove one piece is dangerous to the other.
3. Just doing something opens us up to grace. When we've followed Jesus into a place beyond our pay grade, we are then confronted with two choices: either God rescues our flailing mortality or we fall into the abyss. Routinely jumping into places where grace is needed for survival transforms us beyond what we could ever experience any other way.
I pray today God challenges you to leap then look and in so doing that your soul would rejoice at the fact that the God of both contemplation and action finds us where we are and gives us life and life overflowing (John 10:10).