Moving On

Jesus kept moving. One reason he kept moving was so that he wouldn’t get pinned down by his adversaries. If he stayed in any one place for too long they would come to him en masse and stifle his efforts among those who were open to his message. Another reason Jesus kept moving was to help a larger number of people to reach spiritual maturity. He was like a farmer working the soil. A good farmer doesn’t simply scatter seeds around his farmhouse; he plants seed across all of his fields. If he desires a good crop, he won’t exclusively water and weed one small patch and leave the rest of his fields unattended. He must cover a large area in order to produce an abundant crop.

To lose sight of the fields for the sake of one plant would be foolish. Yet that is what many of us do. We focus all of our attention on one problem, one goal, or one person’s need, and we neglect the rest of our ‘‘fields.’’ Because of a problem at work, we may be pensive at home, and give only shallow, one-word responses to our family. Or a problem in one relationship may somehow sour all of our other relationships. Or we may spend months, even years, to achieve one particular goal, alienating our family and completely neglecting other responsibilities along the way. It is too easy to get bogged down if one ‘‘patch’’ of our ‘‘fields’’ is not growing as we had planned. We may find it hard to accept failure, and let everything else fall to pieces while attempting to restore a perfect state. We should rather attempt to see the whole ‘‘field’’—the big picture—and not allow ourselves to get stuck in one corner. We should do our best with our plans and with what arises unexpectedly. Yet we must always move on. As a consequence of the first man’s decision to disobey God, our life is not an easy, painless roller-coaster ride. After Adam had broken God’s commandment, God said to him: ‘‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you.… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food… ’’ No painful toil, no gain or spoil. We have been banished from the garden of Eden; therefore we must always move on. To not move on is to stagnate. And stagnation leads to apathy, hopelessness, numbness and death.

Jesus also kept moving in order to keep his life and work fresh, vibrant and spontaneous. He kept moving in order to keep things moving. Momentum is an invisible yet critical element in any type of movement. To understand what momentum is and how it works, visualize the weighted wheel of an exercise bicycle. Much more energy is required to start up the wheel than to keep it going once it is up to speed; that is, it takes less energy to keep up the momentum than to build up the momentum. Because we cannot readily see momentum, it can quietly slip away if energy is not consistently being put into the system. This happens on an exercise bicycle when our foot slips off the pedal. When we start up again after a few seconds we sense that a little of the momentum has been lost. Fortunately, we can get up to speed again very quickly. If we stop pedaling for a much longer period of time, however, much more energy will be required in order to get back up to speed. Neglect necessitates extra energy. So keep moving.