All Motion, No Moving
The title is bewildering. I wrote this about 12 years ago for a church publication. I thought you might find it thought provoking:
From the time the older of my two daughters can remember, a clock in our home told out the hour. A faithful cuckoo bird chirped out the time. When she left home she also wanted a clock to strike or tell the hour. Two years ago she finally received a striking school house clock. Something within it was not as faithful as our family cuckoo clock however. Now the pendulum swings back and forth in hypnotizing rhythm, but the hands stay forever as if cemented at three minutes untilfour o’clock. I said all that to say this: I recently learned a lesson from that clock.
When the clock was new, it banged out the hour. In fact, it loudly announced the hour. It really was not very melodious at all but it was loud! What happened? The same thing that happens to many believers who once boldly and zealously spoke out for Jesus at every opportunity happened to that clock. It turned out to be a bit temperamental. Some stress or inconvenience caused it to stop. Well, maybe not altogether stop. Herein is the lesson—the pendulum still swings. These believers are “in church.” They still read the Bible. They pray. They “go through the motions” but alas, they are not moving the hearts of those around them.
Am I being too harsh? If so, it is to myself as well as to you, the reader.
How many times have you been in church with body but not spirit? How many times have you dutifully read the Bible so you can raise your hand for faithful Bible reading; or answer positively to an accountability partner? How many times have you uttered words in prayer that sounded like yesterday’s words and the day before that—and the days before that? Like Debby’s clock, are you just going through the motions? It looks like a clock, it rather acts like a clock, but it just does not tell the time.
So, how do we repair such a problem? We have to open the clock and find the missing or misplaced spring, or gear, and perhaps at some cost, replace what is broken. Ah, so shall we, you and I reach inside the heart, the place where the works are stored, the intents of the heart, and ask God to search our hearts, know our hearts, reveal to us our hearts. Perhaps it is some dust or dirt particle that keeps the system from working. Some sin that needs to be confessed; some sins renounced. Oh, the blessed Holy Spirit is more than willing do reveal the dirt of sin, to gently prod into place the gear of love, to administer the oil of gladness. Jesus is willing to forgive sin confessed. Then once again the hands will move, and the message of the hour will be heard in the streets and from house to house. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m on my way to the repair shop myself. Care to join me?