Not the Bible Thomas (I am like him a lot). No, I am like Thomas in Flannery O’Connor’s “Comforts of Home.”
“Thomas had inherited his father’s reason without his ruthlessness and his mother’s love of good without her tendency to pursue it. His plan for all practical action was to wait and see what developed.”
Thomas excelled at mediocrity, like stale water in a garden hose excels at being lukewarm by evening. Though he had a whole host of good genes between his father and mother, he had somehow settled into a temperament decidedly in-between, where his practical action looked like paralysis.
Well, I have days where all my practical action looks like paralysis.
Days when I stand in line at the DMV to change my name but never get to the front, when I fill out my W-4 three different ways and then somehow it ends up in my backpack at home, when I follow the micro-phoned Subway voices across the platform to trains with open doors but nothing ever starts moving, when I forget to lock the bathroom door and a nice lady opens it in the middle of my business… days when I have all sorts of ambition after work to make chicken enchiladas for the freezer and to clean the bathroom and to get groceries and to channel writing prowess for some freelance work and to do some crazy summer workout in the park.
But I got home at 8:30 and now my practical action looks like a glass of cranberry juice I can’t finish and this blog post. It’s now almost 9:30 and the shots fired outside my window shook my ambition if my weariness hadn’t already.
There is always a sermon for Thomas days.
Sometimes it is hard to locate, behind selfishness and vanity and a mad desire for dark chocolate… but, the sermon is there because there are no new words. God has already authored all the words we need for life and godliness. He has already penned the encouragement and understanding and hope that every Thomas day needs.
If the only practical action I take is to preach Truth to myself, mediocrity is defeated and the most important thing is accomplished on my list.
It’s okay if nothing else gets done, but that preaching has to happen.
Tonight, the sermon is from Jeremiah 1:12.