TO DABBLE: to undertake something superficially or without serious intent. Most of us dabble at an endeavor from time to time. I used to dabble at stone polishing. I purchased rock tumblers and the various grits for each stage of the process. I polished batches of rocks for a couple of years. But over time, I lost interest. I could take it or leave it, and I pretty much left it. …. When we dabble, we spend time on something that really does to affect or change us.
…Religious dabbling is alive and well among us. Some forms of church shopping today are little more than “dabbling” at discipleship. Let’s see what this church can do for me and mine is not all that far removed from let’s see whether Jesus will perform a sign for me [as Herod did in Luke 23:6-12]. Perhaps even more critical, some forms of faith involvement are little more than “dabbling” at discipleship. As long as we don’t scratch beneath the surface of my life or the status quo around here, as long as all this “religious stuff” is not taken too seriously: everything will be all right.
But will it? And will we?
Dabbling is all about keeping things on the surface. Discipleship goes deep into our world and into us. Dabbling is all about the momentary piquing of our curiosity before we move on to the next oddity that attracts—or distracts—our attention. Discipleship is all about fidelity that keeps faith with One whose presence is steady and whose call is demanding. Dabbling leaves us unaffected. Discipleship intends to change us at the core. Dabbling naturally leads to mocking the committed. Discipleship inevitably calls to living committed.
Which will it be for us?
– John Indermark
From pages 61, 62-63 of Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus, A Lenten Study by John Indermark. Copyright © 2008 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
In what areas of your life are you being called to fully commit? Share your thoughts.
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1, NRSV
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This week we remember: John of God (March 8).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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