Doing Nothing

Doing nothing is common. I heard on interesting Tedtalk that shows this human tendency. In Germany when you get your driver’s licence (or renew it), they ask you to check the box if you would like to be an organ donor. Twelve percent check the box. You know how much work it is to check a box and it requires some extra time that nobody has and some extra thinking and so, 88 percent, by not checking, do not donate organs. In Austria they use a different tactic. Doing nothing is common, so when you get your driver’s licence (or renew it) they ask you to check the box if you do not want to donate your organs. Only one percent check that they do not want to donate organs. Checking boxes takes a lot of work some extra time and thinking and so most people do nothing. In both cases doing nothing is common, but with very different results. In Austria, by doing nothing 99 percent agree to donate organs when compared to 12 percent in Germany. Interesting. Way to go Austria!  Simple, creative, eise. Doing nothing just saved lives. Don’t tell the Terminator, Mr. Schwarzennegger, that his home country discovered you don’t need a chopper full of ammo to save lives.

Doing nothing is common. However, there are times when doing nothing is quite remarkable. Each Christmas I celebrate the birth of Jesus. A gift God gave the world wrapped for a moment in a child who could do nothing on his own. God entrusts this gift to a mother and father who socially, religiously and economically are disempowered and oppressed by the place they and their country find themselves in. Their child and they can do nothing on their own. As the story goes their son walks through this world offering himself both to those who chose to do nothing or worse those who choose to use political and religious strength, violence and pride to destroy him. He peaceably chooses the path of doing nothing. Way to go God! Forgiving, loving, wise. And again, somehow doing nothing just saves lives.  

There is a complex irony here that I wish would be as simple as checking or not checking a box. If we do nothing this Christmas families will go hungry, winter tires will not be changed, warm clothes will not be distributed, songs will not

be sung, and the

$0.88/lb. Christmas

turkey will go uncooked. Something has to be done wisely to bless others with the abundance of resources we have in this land.  

Somehow, though, if you’ll pause long enough in the silence of nothing you might hear other Christmas miracles happening. In the times when we wisely do nothing, walking away from a materialistic consumer frenzy. Choosing to say nothing, to hold on to those words that often tear down or hurt another person. Choosing to write nothing on a Facebook post that would make you look better than you are and someone else worse than they are. Choosing less of something for yourself so that others might have more and doing nothing to bring attention to those moments. Choosing the right time to do nothing with open eyes and hearts that will allow your faith in God and humanity to grow a little this season. These are the Christmas miracles I pray might happen this year. Doing nothing is common…it can also be remarkable. This Christmas, you get to decide what doing nothing looks like.

Joel Lock

Island Community Church