“Near where I grew up on the farm,” Stan began, “there was a small town.”
“Was there much there?” I asked.
“The basics,” Stan replied. “The schools were there. The Post Office, a grocery store, a hardware store, a co-operative where the farmers sold their crops, things like that.”
“However, he continued, “there was one place that was really the gathering place for the farmers. It was called ‘Henry’s Corner’, and was really a multipurpose place. Gas station, mechanic shop, and general store.”
Continuing, he said, “You could buy a candy bar, get an ice cream cone, a soft drink, an adult beverage if you were old enough and so inclined, buy a magazine, get your hair cut, just about everything a small community needed.”
Changing the subject, Stan said, “My wife and I had Chinese food for dinner last night. I was reminded about Henry’s Corner.”
“Henry sold Chinese food, too?” I asked.
“No,” Stan said, “there was a Chinese proverb on the back of the menu that reminded me of someone who hung out at Henry’s a lot. As well, it reminded me of an essential part for my faith walk.”
“What was the proverb?” I asked.
“Talk does not cook rice,” Stan replied.
“And how did that remind you of someone at Henry’s?” I responded.
“There was a farmer who always seemed to be at Henry’s. Seems like he was there every time we would stop. As well, he always seemed to say the same thing.”
“What same thing?” I asked.
“How much work he had to do,” Stan said. “He would talk about all that he had to do, whether it was plowing the ground, planting the seeds, getting rid of the weeds, or whatever.”
“Talk about the work rather than do it,” I replied.
“Exactly,” Stan said. “And it was the same thing with my faith walk for way too long. And it can still be a problem if I don’t watch out.”
“How so?” I asked.
“I would talk about what I needed to do in order to have a deeper relationship with God,” Stan replied. “I would talk about it rather than do anything about it.”
“Talk rather than walk?” I said.
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “and it gets right back to where we started. The rice won’t get cooked by just talking about cooking it.”
Concluding, he added, “I need to focus on being and doing, not just talking about it!”
In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for wanting to have an ever-deepening relationship with me. Thank you, too, for showing me that such a deeper relationship will not happen by merely talking about it. I need to pursue a deeper relationship with you, knowing that as I choose to draw near to you, your response will be to to draw near to me. I confess that too often I don’t go beyond talking about having a closer relationship with you. Please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead into as deep and as close a relationship with you as is possible. Help me to go beyond talking to doing and being. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: How do you get beyond just talking about a closer relationship with God? Is such a closer relationship something you want? Why or why not? If you want a deeper and closer relationship with God, do you know how to pursue that? Do you agree that if you choose to draw closer to God He will respond by drawing closer to you? Have you ever experienced that? If not, would you like to do so? Do you know how that can happen?