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Finally we arrive at the outta edge of our diagram. The 4th of the ingredients which go into a disciple. 

The wording for this was inspired by a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt who said: 

“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 short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; 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.”

It turns out that throughout church history people have struggled with the balance of activity and contemplation. Some people are just busy doing doing doing. They are always active: helping out at church, leading a small group, sitting on a couple of committees, fostering stray hedgehogs and winning jam-making competitions at the WI. Meanwhile other people sit in the garden contemplating the beauty of daffodils and experiencing oneness with the universe through tantric meditation and herbal teas. 


Of course we find the balance difficult. We are invited into a relationship with God which is based ENTIRELY on love, where friendship and closeness is the goal and through which we can know a peace which is greater than our ability to comprehend. At the same time we are invited into partnership with the creator God. We are tasked with participating in bringing good news to all people, redeeming all that is lost and fixing all that is broken. 


Contemplation and prayer AND work and action. 


A disciple who only embraces prayerful strengthening of their own core and invests only in a few close relationships will soon become a spiritual hermit or hermitess. Full of wisdom and insight, peace-ful maybe and well-read certainly. But they will have missed out on experiencing the joy of the King who serves and washes feet. 


A disciple who only embraces action, who serves soup and protests against injustice, who runs kids groups and goes on mission trips will experience deep sleep born in exhaustion, will dance as they drink water from newly dug wells and be thanked a thousand times by grateful recipients of their effort…but they will burn out. They will struggle to escape the treadmill which leads you to believe that greater action for God leads to greater love from God. 


Our model places contemplation and prayer central to the life of a disciple. 

But it also includes action. Involvement and the invitation to all of us to play our part.