On your marks, get set, GO!

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

Have you ever sat in a sailboat, becalmed? You're stuck, just sitting there. You can turn the rudder any which way; it doesn't matter. You just bob around. Once the wind blows again and fills the sails, and you get underway again, you can steer again.

There are several stories in the Word where people are sort of becalmed, or stuck. Here's one:

"And about the eleventh [hour] he [the householder] went out, and found others standing; and he saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard." (Matthew 20:6-7)

Here's another one:

"And a certain man was there, who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity. When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time [in that case], he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole? The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:5-8)

And one more:

"And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:12)

Each time, the becalmed people are told to act:

- go work in the vineyard,

- arise, pick up your bed, and walk,

- go... anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, Jehu to be king over Israel, and Elisha to be prophet...

Each time, God provides the impetus -- like the wind in the sails. In each case, the people are partly stuck in helpless mode -- but still, they ARE in the marketplace, or near the healing pool, or standing in the mouth of the cave. They ARE willing to act when this impetus comes. They're receptive. They're obedient. They have enough faith to get moving.

So what about us? Of course it's the same sort of thing. We might be spiritually becalmed. How do we get out of that state? Start by doing one right thing. Actually, reading the Word IS one of the right things, so if you're here, reading, you're getting ready; you're receptive. DO a right thing; do something kind for someone. Or resist the next temptation to do something wrong.

It's a long spiral upward -- receptiveness, faith, learning truths, shunning evils, doing good things -- and it's a lot of work, but it's a lot better than staying becalmed.