When I was a kid… preteen and teen… and living at home, I regularly was given chores by my dad. Sometimes I would be told to mow the grass, clean a fence row, pick up rocks from a field, etc. When I was given these chores, it was expected that I would complete them.
Let’s say I woke up one Tuesday to find a note left by my dad: “Clean the garage. I need this done before I come back.” Let’s say I read the note, and looked at my watch; I saw I had 6 hours until he was expected home from work. So, I go out to the garage and take a look… Sure enough, it certainly needs cleaning. What do I do?
Let’s say I pull out a lawn chair, take a seat, and begin to pray about it. Or let’s say some of my buddies gather around and we talk about what I have been tasked to do. Maybe we even take the note and do an exegesis of the text… and discover what the note really means is that dad expects me to clean the garage and to have it done when he gets back (yep, he really meant what he said).
Let’s say I pull out a guitar and begin to sing songs about my dad: “Daddy loves me, this I know…”, “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Daddy…”, “Daddy, I adore you…”, etc. Or maybe I pull my buddies in close and I spend the day telling them tales of the many times my dad proved himself faithful to me, and showed me how much he loved me.
Let’s say I’ve devoted my whole day to praying about what I’d been given to do, or talking about about what I’d been given to do, or singing about my dad and talking about my dad.
When dad pulls in the driveway, and gets out of his truck, to check on the progress I’d made in the garage, will he be pleased or disappointed? Would it help when I told him I’d spent the time talking about him instead of doing what he’d given me to do? Knowing my dad, it wouldn’t have helped…
What is the point of this imaginary scenario (that is very close to what happened many times)? Insert Jesus in place of my dad… and insert my orders to clean the garage with the Great Commission of Acts 28:18-20.
We’ve spent countless days and weeks and months and years doing everything but… even every good thing but… what Jesus told us to do.
When Jesus comes back, will He be pleased or disappointed?