A few years ago the band U2 had a popular song that featured the following lyrics:
You’ve got to get yourself together
You’ve got stuck in a moment
And now you can’t get out of it
Don’t say that later will be better
Now you’re stuck in a moment
And you can’t get out of it
I think many of us find ourselves stuck in a moment and we can’t get out of it. We accept Christ, attend church regularly and even put some money into the offering plate. But the rest of our lives are wholly unremarkable for the kingdom. We are stuck in the moment of asking Christ to be our Lord, yet we never move forward with our commitment.
Following Jesus is not a onetime event that happens to us; it’s a life-long series of activities in which we engage. When you aren’t sure how to get to your destination and a friend offers to lead you there, you don’ stop after the first turn. That’s not following and it will lead to a lot of aimless wandering. That is not the life to which we were called, and it’s not a life that I want to lead. I want to be in passionate pursuit, not wandering aimlessly. This is the difference between being a Christian and being a follower of Jesus. In the early church, all they cared about was devoting themselves to prayer and to service for others. That’s a far cry from the Western Christianity of the 21st century. We are stuck in a moment, and we can’t get out of it. We are stuck building buildings and creating more and more programs to insulate ourselves from the world around us. We are stuck associating only with each other and pursuing our individual versions of the American dream. We are stuck living a life that disregards the commands of Jesus and having the extent of our outreach equal a plastic fish on the back of our cars.
Following requires an active and focused intention. We cannot follow what we cannot see. If our eyes are not on Jesus we will not be able to move forward. Step number one in getting yourself unstuck is to clear the distractions from in front of your eyes and focus on Jesus. Our lives have become consumed with busyness and activity for the sole sake of movement. But movement without progress is futile at best; it leads to a life of despair and destruction. If we are serious about our desire to follow Jesus, then we must move with purpose and intention toward Him. We cannot spend our lives stuck in any moment, as there is far too much work to be done.
We truly do need to get ourselves together. This can only be done with the grace of God, because on our own we are simply a mess. Pretending that everything will be better tomorrow without making a change today is nothing but delusion. Life doesn’t get better by itself and you don’t grow closer to God by simply sleeping off a bad day. Too many of us seem to enjoy the place in which we are stuck; it’s comfortable and familiar. We have been lulled into inactivity and have given up struggling. We don’t want to leave the moment we are in because anything else is uncertain. Following Jesus is a call to uncertainty. We often don’t know where we’re going, but we do know where we’ll end up! Jesus is calling us to move forward toward Him. We have to get unstuck and pursue Him with all of our strength; He’ll provide whatever we lack.
Are you stuck in a moment? Have you been watching life pass you by, wanting to get involved but you’ve been too afraid or too stuck in a moment? Did you trust in Jesus years ago, only to find that your passion has waned and you are now simply a believer but not a follower? I encourage you to prayerfully resolve to become unstuck. Ask God to pull you out of the moment of which you can’t seem to get out; ask Him to help put the pieces of your life back together, and change your focus to be on Him alone. This is the stuff of life; this how it gets better. Follow God with all that you are; live in the way He instructed you to live. Refuse to be stuck in your moment any longer and instead pursue God with a passion that is both infectious and contagious. Love Him above all else; move forward and pull someone along with you. Don’t be stuck any longer, He can put you back together; you need only just ask.