Sunday Devotion-Beyond the label

Janet Rubin

Last month on Earth Day, I purchased a whole bunch of those reusable canvas grocery bags at my grocery store. I promptly came home, took a picture of them, and posted the picture on my blog, announcing proudly that I was doing my part to save the planet. The next week, when filling out a scholarship application, I had to answer a question about whether or not I thought it was important to be environmentally responsible and why. I wrote my mini-essay with passion and not feeling the least bit hypocritical- I mean hey, I was the proud owner of reusable canvas grocery bags after all, wasn’t I?

So, a month has passed. I’ve gone shopping quite a few times. The thing is…I haven’t used those fancy bags even once. I keep forgetting to bring the things with me! So on I go, contributing to the plastic-problem. Some environmentalist I am. Al Gore would be dissapointed in me.

It’s easy to slap on a label. It’s harder to live the life. Most of us hanging out at Novel Journey call ourselves writers. I tell people all the time, “I’m a writer.” But the truth of the matter is, I really don’t spend much time writing. Not seriously writing anyway. Sure we go through dry spells, periods of writer’s block, hectic times when other things are a priority. But in order to truthfully say, “I’m a writer,” there should be, over time, some sort of consistent writing going on in our lives.

My most important title is Christian. Lots of people call themselves Christians, but then rarely think of God or His leadership in their lives. Me too at times.

What good are earth-friendly grocery bags left at home? How does a writer who never writes anything share his or her gift with the world? And what good is a Christian whose label is nothing more than… a label?

James 1: 26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. [The Message]
Lord, We sure need your help. I’m so glad you aren’t a God who’s just a talker. You didn’t just say you loved us; you showed us- coming to earth in the form of Jesus, dying on a cross, saving us from sin and death. You walked the walk. Please help me to live authentically, to choose my labels carefully and take them seriously. You know I can’t do it alone. And thank you for grace, which forgives me for wasting plastic bags and checking email more than I write, and forgetting You between Sundays. But I want to do better. Please help. Amen.