When using the word shrinking here, you might instead use the word shirking. I'm thinking of just how easy it is for me to shrink from really seeking to fulfill God's calling as I understand it for me. Which ends up amounting to shirking my responsibility.
Of course how this would all work out is impossible for me to know. But that's not the point. The point is that I need to seek to fulfill God's calling to me in Jesus and I need to do so both as an individual as well as part of a body of believers.
This must begin with much prayer but it must not end there. We must seek to be obedient to God's will revealed to us in Scripture and in Jesus. This involves obeying commandments and exhortations we read in God's word. And we do so in the context of our lives, which means we'll have to venture to do it in concrete ways.
For me this certainly involves getting out of my comfort zone. I like to do not much more than curl up on a sofa and read a book. But I need to get out in my neighborhood, and one way I can at least make my presence known is by working on our yard. I'm interested in growing praire grass, particularly in our front yard as it's been hard with our sandy soil and all the concrete and heat coming from it to keep it healthy all summer long. I want to do so not only with the grass in mind, but with God's calling for me in reaching out to our neighbors in mind, as well. A few summers back we had a barbecue inviting all our neighbors on our block, and while most did not come, a good number did. I want to get into the mode of prayerfully befriending others, or being available to others with the hope that they'll see Jesus in us.
I have to admit though, after a busy day at work and knowing another day awaits me, it is not easy to get out there and do it. To do whatever is on one's heart in the hope that God will use us to help others. Of course we want to help them come to Jesus for themselves. And bring his touch into their lives through our lives. How? How can we know? This is a faith walk and by the Spirit. It certainly involves loving others in deeds and words.
Of course we need to think and pray in terms of community as well. We each have our distinct part to play, and it's meant to fit together as each of us does our part to see others come to know Jesus. One way our church is trying to reach out to the community is through having a community garden.
It just depends for me on whether I shrink back from it and end up shirking my responsibility and one aspect of my calling from God. We may not know what to do, but we need to pray and as we do that, we can try out different things. God then can lead us, as we look to him in all of this.
What idea or example might you share with us on this?