Back in our bluegrass band days, the bass player, John, and I sometimes borrowed an old Steve Martin Saturday Night Live skit. As we rolled up cables and put instruments in cases after a job, we discussed which songs worked, and whether the audience paid attention. On nights when things went especially well, we would talk about the future of the band and realize what we were saying – “…yea, we could start having regular practices…add more songs…we could really get serious and …” Then we’d stop talking, look into the air as if thinking about it, turn back to each other, shake our heads and say “Naaaah” – and laugh as we continued to put things away.
It wasn’t that we didn’t care. Practice sessions weren’t needed because we played jobs at least once a week, and often more. We added new songs by working on them during breaks. We had worked up to a solid musical level, had great fun with it, and when the audience paid attention, they had great fun too.
John and I knew our family lives and day jobs wouldn’t allow us to “really get serious”. As we expounded on the future, we had the luxury of letting the excitement seemingly build and then jokingly say, “naaah, this is good where we are.”
As we talk and think about possibilities in life, we often feel the spark of excitement and begin to make plans. The plans are for good things so we make heartfelt commitments – and intend to keep them. The hard part then is consistency and diligence in the long term. Life gets in the way, and that spark of excitement dims.
That isn’t always a bad thing. Whatever we were planning may have been impractical or the timing was wrong. But, often, as we allow the commitments to fade, we’re neglecting something that is practical and the timing is right, and the need is important (perhaps even critical).
In all our various roles as Christians, we don’t always have the luxury John and I had. We are called to good works, to obedience, to avoid becoming lukewarm.
The New Year is a good time to ponder those things we may have let slide – what we once were excited about doing but haven’t carried through. If we have, in effect, decided “Naaaah, I’m good where I am”, we need to prayerfully ask whether God agrees with that.
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” Titus 3:8 NKJV