“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.” ~ Aristotle
A week from this coming Wednesday — March 6th — is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We know what Lent is all about. We know what is expected of us. We know what could make us better. So, why don’t we get busy doing what needs to be done?
That question gets asked over and over again in our lives. “Why didn’t you just do it?” is a question that we have heard many times from parents, teachers, bosses, and the like. They asked because they knew that we knew what the expectations were. They asked because they knew that we failed to act even though we knew the expectations and the consequences. Yet, many times, the answer was something akin to “I was waiting for you to show me what needed to be done.”
“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.” Aristotle was a very wise man and his sayings, while quite profound, cut to the core. Sometimes, we have to get busy doing in order to learn to do something properly. All the studying of something, all the watching of others, and all the worrying will not be able to replace the actual doing.
We have been told that we need to be busy about our faith lives. There are some who hear the challenge of that call and plunge right in. They volunteer to do things that they have never done before. They push themselves into deeper waters by taking on new things. They may not have known, for sure, how to accomplish what needed to be done. Yet, they went out anyway, confident that God would supply whatever it was that was lacking and what they needed.
They did. They didn’t wait for orders. They didn’t wait for a personal invitation. They didn’t wait until it was absolutely necessary. They just did. Sometimes, they found out that they were not able to accomplish the work so they moved on to something else with just as much boldness. Other times, they found that the work was suited to them and they learned as they went about doing what needed to be done. They also inspired others to do the same.
God understands our fears and our hesitancies. God understands our discomfort. God understands our weakness and lack of knowledge. Nonetheless, God calls us and commissions us to continue the work of His Son, Jesus. If we do not do so, there is that much of the work that will not be accomplished.
St. Teresa of Avila reminded us that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are the ones who help Him touch others. We are the ones who bring His words to the world.
FAITH ACTION: Do not worry so much about how you are to accomplish the works of Jesus. Begin by jumping in and volunteering to do the work.