Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


It is a curious thing, really. For everything we ought to do there seems to be something that beckons our not doing. Perhaps we have more than enough to-do lists and not enough not-to-do lists.

Allow me one caveat: It is en vogue to remind one another of the need to say “no”. I do not doubt the value of this wisdom. What I wonder is if this can become equally absent of discernment. When we say “no” as impulsively as we have said “yes”…I suspect the kingdom suffers. God calls. And folks are unavailable.

Some thoughts, in the form of questions, regarding “no” (and I am going to stop using quotation marks):

By saying no, are you getting out of the way? Are you allowing another to step up and into a role through which God can grow and bless them? Say it, then. Say it boldly.

With no, are you honoring an existing commitment? Or is the truth of the matter more akin to this: The existing commitment was not made with love for God and neighbor at the center and it may not be strengthened by nature of saying no to this something else. Guard against this, the misplaced no. Say it where it belongs.

Is your no based on a feeling? To react and to respond are two different things. Say nothing until you are clearer that your answer is more than a gut reaction to an experience by which you were burned, disappointed, mistreated, or underutilized.

Is your no based on an I-do-what-I-am-comfortable-doing policy? Fact: God equips the called. If the kingdom needs it, you will be given what you do not have. Just say no to no, in this case.

By no, do you mean, I must know more? It happens…the passive aggressive no…of which I have certainly been guilty. Because you cannot minimize risk from the get-go, I cannot offer myself. Watch out for that no. Jesus said: Come and see. In hand, he had no timeline with projected outcomes.

Of greater value than taking my musings to heart, is opening your heart (and mind) to the reality that you have been called to something (v.21). Listen up! Say yes to your part, which can change over time. If necessary, say no to that which may never have been most appropriately yours for the being and doing in the first place.

You just might embolden the rest of us to follow suit. And that would be alright~