Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
“Just do it!”

This exhortation has been an advertising miracle for Nike.  It has defined the corporation since 1988 and still shows no sign of fading.  Perhaps you’ve grown up hearing it, or at least have heard it being tossed about for a good chunk of your adult life.  In other words, the phrase has staying power, and this implies that there is something important buried in this quick, three word expression.

“Just do it!” implores us to turn over our attention from our thoughts and feelings to our actions, to leave behind the mental labyrinth of doubt and indecision, of justifications and excuses, of waiting for the right circumstances, the right moment when we feel like taking action.  Instead, we should turn our attention outward.  Get into gear.  “Just do it.”

Today’s reading acknowledges that living a life in search of the sacred can be difficult.  So, it helps to rely on a motivational phrase like Nike’s because it points out a simple truth:  It can be much harder to take action than it is to imagine what we should and can do.  It becomes harder still when others stand firmly in our path, leading us to worry about what they will think of us.  Actions are public and others hold us to what we do, not to thoughts we keep private.  Often our fear of others’ impressions outweighs our conviction that what we want to do is right, stopping us from putting those thoughts into actions.

A little miracle behind “Just doing it” is that taking action comes back around and begins to strengthen our convictions.  Continue “to walk in the truth,” as today’s reading phrases it, and questions and worries begin to weaken and fade, perhaps even to melt away.  Look to God for the truth, take the steps that lead you there, “Just do it.” 

Dear Lord, help us find the strength to take the steps that lead us to Your truth.

Jeffrey Adams, Professor of Psychology

First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Psalm 86:1-6
Gospel: Luke 5:27-32

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

1 comment:

Anna said...

Jeff, I appreciate how you talk about doubt and indecision muddling our conviction to act. Thank you for that push towards action that I needed to hear today, especially in "doing" during Lent, not just "giving up" something.