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It's not just a Cause: it's a Person

Lately I've been thinking again about something I'd read a few years ago:

Think for a moment of someone you admire. It might be a political figure whose cause excites you. It might be a prominent businessperson, or a doctor or lawyer whom you respect.

Think of some person whom you look up to.

Have him or her in mind?

Now imagine that person calling you up on the phone and asking you to get together for lunch someday. Just the two of you. At that lunch, he or she invites you to be part of an important and noble project that he or she wants to start.

He or she wants YOU to be part of it, involved in it.

Begin to let that thought play around in your mind, as a way of preparing you to think and respond to Jesus' call to the fishermen.

Here's the point: It is not just a cause that stirs us.

It is a person.

Years ago, I heard about a talk given on stress at a management institute at Harvard Business School. It was about how executives and other people should deal with stress.

When a person came in to begin the series of talks, most people present were eager to hear what this person would say: they were all in high-stress situations or careers.

But here's what this expert on stress said:

"I imagine that you think I am going to talk to you about how you should relax. That you as executives need to take time for vacation. That you need to exercise, and that you need to eat properly...or that perhaps you should practice yoga.

"'But that's not what I am going to talk to you about at all,'" he said, "'because that won't take care of your stress.'"

He said, "the reason that so many of you are stressed...the reason you drink too much, eat too much, work too hard, and feel frazzled and fragile is that you think what you are doing is unimportant.

"You spend a lot of time doing it. You work hard. You make a lot of sacrifices.

"But in the end, deep in your hearts, you don't really think what you do is worthwhile."

Apparently you could have heard a pin drop in that room.

The speaker said he'd given the talk many times, sometimes to leading executives at major corporations, and during the talk some executives would break down and cry. He added that one of them came up once and asked him to make a recording of his talk so that he could give it to his son, so he wouldn't make the same mistakes he had, right up to his mid-50's.

As we gear up for the Fall...start academic years and new program summer winds down and we start into this busier, oftentimes more "stressful" season, we need to remind ourselves - at least sometimes I need to remind myself - that the sole reason The Falls Church Episcopal (or any Christian church for that matter) exists is to put people in touch with a person: the person of Jesus. That (or more accurately, he) is what makes the church unique. 

So now think about that opening story again: the person you look up to, who desires to have lunch with you, in order to invite you, personally, to be part of an important project.

Jesus desires to have that meal with you.

He wants YOU to be a part of, and involved in, the important and noble project that he wants to continue: being your unique part of the Body of Christ.


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