Standing around while there is Work to be done!

Standing Around

"Men of Galilee", they said, "Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!". Acts 1:11 (NLT)
Are You Standing Around?

As I begin writing today, I am also thinking about all the work that needs to be done around our home. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming I would rather just sit and think about it. This of course, does not help the work get completed nor does it even get it started. I had to laugh as I read a quote in an email I received this morning by author, Shirley Conran, ”I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.” This quote really summed up my thoughts about all the work that is sitting, waiting on me to get busy around our home.

What about you?Do you have work that needs to be completed around your home too? I don’t like to think of myself as a lazy person, as I am often running around being really busy, but sometimes I have to stop and ask myself; is my busyness actually doing any good or is it just unnecessary work? Do others see me as a hard-working person or just busy? There is a story about two friends, Michael and Sam. They found themselves walking down the street together one day and as they passed a store, a sign in the window read: ”No Help Wanted”. Michael turned to Sam and suggested, ”You should apply ”“ you’d be great.” Would my friends suggest as Sam’s friend did, that I apply for the job? Am I completing work or am I just busy?

Am I guilty of getting so caught up in the busyness of the world that no real work gets accomplished? My excuses for avoiding the work that needs to be completed in the basement and garage are pretty weak. I know it needs to be cleaned out, but I can give you a list of reasons on why I cannot get it done. There are certainly warning bells that are sounding, that peal on why the work should be done, along with the great rewards that will come when completed. But I always find other things that take up my time and energy so I can’t be bothered now with this work.

In 79 AD Mt. Vesuvius erupted and completely annihilated the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Scientists’ discoveries in this region, over the years, reveal much in the lifestyles of the people during that time. Archaeologist found when uncovering the site, that lava from the volcano encased the bodies of the dead. As they investigated, they realized that even though the bodies had long decayed, the lava left a shell; a mold, which could be filled with plaster. The thought was, that plaster casts would tell the story of the last moments of life of those who died, and this would provide historical evidence of their way of life. The archaeologist did indeed learn some interesting things about those moments. Some of their findings showed;

  • The owners of one house were hiding their valuables in their well when they fell in and met their death.
  • A dog was still tied up to a fence.
  • A woman held a baby in her arms while two young girls clung to the hem of her dress.
  • A man was trying to pull his goat by its halter outside of the city wall.
  • The remains of one woman were found next to a wine vat. Inside the vat were over 100 silver dishes and 1000 pieces of gold. One of the silver cups bore the inscription that as translated reads; ”Enjoy life while you have it, for tomorrow is uncertain.”

One of the most horrific things about this tragedy is that the people did not have to die. They had several warnings. Ancient Roman records indicate that in those weeks prior to the eruption, there had been rumblings and tremors. Days before the volcano erupted there was smoke visible from the mountain. They saw and experienced the warning signs, but they could not be bothered. They continued with the busyness of their life work in the face of the warnings. They couldn’t be troubled with the warnings, because they had other work, they felt was more important.

Our focus verse this week, finds the disciples just standing around staring up into the heavens after Jesus ascended. Christ gave them work to do and instructed them on the next step, but yet here they stand, watching the sky. They were not moving forward to tell others about what they had learned. They just stood, until two angels appeared before them asking them, why they were just standing around. This seemed to remind them that there was work to be done until Jesus returned.

The disciple’s work of telling others about Christ is also our job, as we have the same work to do. We, also, hesitate on our given work to tell others the ”Good News”. Too often, we find ourselves in the disguise of busyness, doing all sorts of tasks but not necessarily, the one we are commissioned to do. The disciples moved forward with their work with the simple reminder that Christ will return.

Should we be caught upon Christ’s return, just standing around and waiting on Him to get here? Do we want to be like the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum, caught filling our time with the busyness of life, not heeding the warning and not giving others the warning too?

”Men of Galilee”, they said, ”Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!” Acts 1:11 (NLT)

Time to Work

Someday Jesus will return, and even though we too, have warnings that He is returning, we will not know in the weeks or days before; like the massive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. While we are waiting, we are to go out in our daily lives, exhibiting and telling others about Christ along with the wonderful blessings, He has given us. Our actions and words should speak clearly upon who we follow.

The New Testament focuses clearly on our responsibility, to live our lives following Christ’s example, so that we may successfully show others in the world, Jesus. The New Testament is not about when He will come, but that He will come, and how we should live until He does. Our work is to live our life, in such a way that people are jealous of what we have, and they long to find Christ for themselves; willing to seek Him until they find Him. There are three things you can do today to make the necessary transition from standing to working, helping others share in the love of Christ.

The Triple S’s of Work

1. Shift your focus ”“ You must shift your focus from the work and patterns of the world to God’s.  This is a simple statement that is often the most difficult to overcome.

2. Stop Worrying ”“ Stop worrying about what the world thinks about you and focus your energy on sharing Christ through your actions and words.

3. Stop Standing Around ”“ Stop standing around and start showing the love of Christ to all people everywhere through everything you do.

When Christ returns He should find you working hard sharing His blessings. There is a story about the world-famous violinist, Fritz Kreisler (1875 ”“ 1962). He earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he very generously gave most of it away. One day, while on a trip, he discovered an exquisite violin but was unable to buy it. He returned home and keeping his mind focused on the beautiful instrument, he raised enough money to meet the asking price. But to his great disappointment a collector purchased the violin prior to his return. Not to be thwarted though and keeping his mind with a dedicated energy, he found the new owner’s home. He offered to buy the violin. The collector, however said, that it was a newly acquired prized-possession and he would not sell it. Kreisler was very dismayed and just before he was about to leave, he asked, ”Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” The owner granted permission, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. Upon the last note sounding, the owner exclaimed, ”It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world and let the people hear it.” Kreisler was tasked to share its blessing with everyone.

We should be challenged to not keep silent, the blessings of Christ. Our place in this world is nothing; it is our place in God’s kingdom, which has meaning. Our life should give example to Him, as we are convicted to share the ”Good News” with others. We have heard the warnings of Christ’s return, and this alone should provide the motivation for our work. We should not want our life to be a waste for God’s kingdom, because we have not done our work for Him. It is our work, to share His blessings with others. It is time we stop standing around for there is much work to be done. Christ is returning.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Post Script:

Garth Brooks says; ”Don’t let the world decide who you are. You decide who you are.”

I add, ”Decide who you are, but remember who made you, and share that blessing with all people.

For Further Study;

Isaiah 13:6-12, Joel 2:28-32, Zephaniah 1:14-18, Matthew 24:42-44, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Revelation 1:7

The Fritz Kreisler story is credited to Our Daily Bread, February 4, 1994

What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion

What are your thoughts on sharing the ”Good News”? Do you find it easy to be a witness or do you often find yourself standing around waiting on someone else to tell others about Christ? Do you get yourself swamped with the busyness of life forgetting that you have work to do here on earth for God? Join us in discussion on the work of God.

How God is working through your life?