There is a great scene in Rocky 2…ok sorry every single scene in every Rocky movie is a great scene…there is a great scene in Rocky 2 where Rocky and his trainer Mickey are in the hospital sitting with Rocky’s wife Adrian. She was pregnant, had an early delivery brought on by stress and had complications brought on by childbirth and had slipped into a coma.
Rocky was in training for a rematch with Apollo Creed. He wasn’t training very hard because his wife wasn’t wanting him to fight and Rocky argued that it was all he knew how to do. Adrian’s pleas with Rocky not to fight were causing him to not put his heart and soul into the training.
Rocky is sitting at Adrian’s bedside reading her a poem. Adrian awakes to everyone’s astonishment. Rocky looks at Adrian and says, “If you don’t want me mixing it up with Creed I won’t.”
Adrian smiles and looks at Rocky and says, “There is one thing I want you to do.”
“What’s that?” Rocky says as he leans down to listen.
The music swells…a gong echoes…”Win.” Adrian whispers.
Another gong…Rocky looks up at Adrian…”Win.” She repeats louder.
Mickey’s eyes get wide as he shouts, “What are we waiting for?”
And the rest is cinematic history. Rocky trains like crazy and actually defeats Apollo Creed to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. (can you just hear the Rocky music now? I would say I could but it pretty much plays in an endless loop in my head…)
The scene is so gut-wrenching and emotional on so many levels…Rocky wanting to prove he is a somebody, the intense love he has for his wife. The devotion of the old trainer to his pupil….ok ok I am getting off subject here, which is easy, I mean it’s Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, after all.
The question Mickey asks is the question for us…but I’ll personalize it…
What are you waiting for?
What is it going to take for you (and when I say you, I mean you…well and me and every other arm-chair Christian who thinks that simply filling a seat on Sunday and pontificating on how great Jesus is makes them a complete Christian) to get off your seat and actually start living the life God wants you to live?
How many conferences do you need to attend? How many sermons do you need to hear? How many Bible studies to you need to go to? How many praise songs do you need to raise your hands to and sing before it all sinks in and you actually start imitating the Jesus you are learning or singing about?
Christianity has a hollow ring to people because people who claim to be Christians aren’t living out what they preach. The Bible says to love your neighbor…do you even know the names of your neighbors, let alone love them? And remember saying you love someone is vastly different than actually living it out and showing it to the world.
Of course the excuse machine is on full power for us. I don’t have the time to love my neighbors, let alone find out what God wants me to do. I am not good enough yet, God is still working on me and when He is done then I’ll get to work. (This is a good one because the Bible says we are works that will not be completed until Jesus comes back…so by that logic we won’t have to do anything until Jesus returns with the trumpet blast, and call me crazy but I think God has things for us to do before that.)
So it is time. It is time for Christians to act.
You don’t need a degree. You don’t need another sermon or another prayer – although they are always nice. Christians have a tendency to put things off until everything is ‘just right’. But that is the problem, things in this life are never ‘just right’. So we wait, and nothing really gets done. Neighbors don’t get loved. Widows aren’t taken care of. Prisoners aren’t visited in prison. Jesus isn’t preached. All because we are waiting for everything to be perfect.
The Bible has a verse just for this…Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT) says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
The time is right. It is right now. Start acting and living like the Jesus you have learned about for so long.
Another verse to spur us to action, “You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7 (The Message)