Life Is About a Cause, Not the Applause

I have discovered that life is best when comfort is not the goal, hesitation is not your habit, and complacency is your enemy. If you are going to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1) and enter into the fullness of the adventure Jesus has planned for you then comfort is not something to seek, hesitation becomes an enemy, and complacency can have no place in your daily life. 

Life is about responding to the opportunities, joining the team, being all in on the mission. It’s about leaving the cheap seats, getting out of the bleachers, and heading for the field. And doing so now!

Life is about getting involved in the cause of Jesus. It’s raising your hands to volunteer at church, serve in your community, and live to make a difference. Life is about the cause, not the applause.

I just read this recently in a book that I was recently handed…

On April 23, 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech titled “The Man in the Aren.” It would become one of the most widely quoted speeches of his career. 

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities – all these are marks, not … of superiority but of weakness.” 

His message was inspirational and passionate. He went on today:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood: who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

In much the same way, our lives are filled with God-given opportunities that deserve to be met with an uninhibited display of openness and readiness. In order to live fully free, here’s what you have to know with absolute certainty and complete confidence: You have to embrace the life that God gave you and engage with it and do so with all of your being to be fully alive and fulfilled.