When she was in third grade, one of my daughters came home in tears. "Mom," she said, "I can't be friends any more with Laura."
Oh, dear, I thought. My daughter was at a new school and had struggled for weeks to find a friend among her close-knit peers. And now she had lost her only friend?
I said, "What did she do?"
"Nothing," my daughter said. "That's the point."
My daughter told me the whole story: another student had pushed my daughter down, not once but three times. And "friend" Laura had stood on silently, making no move to help.
"I would have stood up for her, Mom!"
I knew she would have, too. I had seen her do it. But this episode clarified for me an important idea: inaction can be a form of action.
Confirmation of What?
My daughter's story has been in my mind as the current Confirmation Class comes to an end here at North Community Church. I have watched this brave group of young people grapple with what it means to decide to be baptized, to be a Christian, and to be a member of our congregation.
That's the heart of being confirmed, I believe: making a decision. It's not just a decision to come into the fold at NCC. In a bigger sense, it's a decision to grow spiritually.
On the day of confirmation, these students won't become completed Christians. But they will have made a clear choice: they are committing themselves to moving closer to God and to the others in our congregation.
What Difference Will It Make?
What will happen because of the confirmands' decision to be confirmed at NCC? We can't know for sure. But their decision will certainly have consequences, starting with their public statement of faith.
Internally, it will change how they think of themselves: "I'm a Christian now, by my own choice." They may turn toward God with new awareness, energy, and love.
Externally, it will bring them into our focus and our prayers. We will begin to treat them differently, as fellow followers of Jesus. We will begin to include them in our church family in a new way.
Those consequences, in turn, will have further consequences. The confirmands may find themselves doing things as church members that will build their confidence, their set of skills, and their faith. When they make subsequent choices in their lives, they will be different people than before they were confirmed.
How About You?
Are you stuck in indecision about some part of your spiritual life? Are you waiting for "the right time," or to be 100% sure, or to have already figured out how to be what you seek to be?
Are you letting inaction become an action that shapes you? That erodes your connection with God?
Remember what the Himalayan climber W.H Murray said in 1951: "The moment one definitely commits oneself...providence moves too."
Like the confirmands, make another move toward God. You will not only be taking an action on your own behalf, you also will be calling on a Friend who will, I promise, stand up for you.