"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." ~Matthew 26:41
Throughout history there has been a shortage of men & women willing to point humanity along the right path. Our needs as humans are not a secret: food, shelter, meaningful work, companionship, freedom, forgiveness, acceptance and love. In every age there is an abundance of people who try to speak to these needs and announce the social implications of the time. But amid the apparent abundance is a great poverty. Not materially, but in the shortage of people willing to lead humanity along the right path rather than just speaking about it.
The cultural fatigue is creating a hopelessness in the lives of more people every day and from the midst of it they are crying for help. More than ever, our non-Christian brothers and sisters are sending a message. Though they are not aware of it, they are indirectly giving witness to the Gospel. In their message is a profound challenge for us to embrace a life rooted more fully in the example and teachings of Jesus. Their message is clear and unmistakable: "Don't tell me - show me!"
Their plea comes from a longing deep within them that represents their great hunger. They don't want to see another television evangelist or read another book or listen to another CD about Christianity, and they don't want to hear your amazing story of conversion. They want the real thing! They want to witness someone - anyone - whose words are supported by the authority of his or her actions. Someone striving humbly but heroically to live by what is good, true and noble in the midst of (and in spite of) the modern climate.
They are not sending us this message to sound childish. Theirs is a natural cry for help because they are so hungry for a courageous example of the authentic life in this day and age. They are disillusioned and searching, but they never cease calling out to us like sheep without a shepherd, wanting to be fed - to be lead to the pastures of kindness, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, acceptance, freedom and love.
Mahatma Gandhi summed up the search for this authentic life - leading individual better than I could ever hope to: In reference to the well-known fact that Gandhi read from the New Testament every day and often quoted Christian Scriptures, a reporter asked him why he had never become a Christian. He answered, "If I had ever met one, I would have become one." In his own way, Gandhi was saying "Don't tell me - show me!" revealing his yearning for an example of an authentic life.
At every moment, the entire modern world kneels before us begging for some brave person to come forward and lead them with the example of an authentic life. In many ways, our age is one of abundance, but amid it there remains a great hunger in the people. We have a universal hunger for the authentic. A longing to become and experience all we are capable of and created for.
Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse that reminds us to lead an authentic life and to feed the need of those around us who are seeking that example. When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT91 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum to share it with us!