Pause

It happens to us every day. Every hour. We have to respond. We have to respond to the car that cuts us off on the road. Respond to the text that just arrived. Respond to the person who is calling our name.

Some of our responses are automatic, and we don’t even think about it. Some are conditioned by our experiences. For some, we have time to breathe and think and pray.

And in the midst, God continues to call… How are we prepared to respond?

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Listen

This is what I’m saying, brothers and sisters: The time has drawn short. From now on, those who have wives should be like people who don’t have them. Those who are sad should be like people who aren’t crying. Those who are happy should be like people who aren’t happy. Those who buy something should be like people who don’t have possessions. Those who use the world should be like people who aren’t preoccupied with it, because this world in its present form is passing away.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

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Think

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them, and your foes won’t believe them.”

Regardless of the wisdom of this quote, we have all made (and probably continue to make) excuses. Yet here we have Paul telling us that we need to live excuse-less lives of following Jesus. It is a theme not much different from that of Jesus’ parable about the wedding banquet. People made plenty of excuses to not come to the meal.

What about us? When we are given the opportunity to respond to Jesus, do we simply say yes, or do excuses flow?

Edward Goode

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Pray

Jesus said, let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” I confess the excuses I offer to try to get around responding to you, O God. Help me to always move to “yes” when you call me. Amen.

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Go

Stop.

Take a few breaths. Take a few more.

Listen.

Wait.

Pray.

Respond.

Edward Goode

Rev. Dr. Edward Goode is lead pastor at The Presbyterian Church of Wyoming just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. His passions are his faith, his family, the outdoors, and photography. He blogs regularly at Imago Sciptura.

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