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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ready, aim, fire!

The beginning of "doing" something may actually begin in the "wanting" of something bad enough we start to make a movement or two toward whatever it is we want.  In everyday life, we "want" certain things and then we set about "doing" things to get or accomplish whatever it is we want.  Recently, I have been working in the backyard to add some raised beds.  It began about a year ago when I shared my vision with my son and he set about to make the first "addition" to the yard in the form of three nice tiered raised beds and a small deck in between.  This gave me the start for what became the next extension of the deck and a cover to shade me while I barbecue under it.  Now, I am collecting old pallets (with the help of my sons).  I am busting those apart and seeing what I can create from them.  The latest addition to the yard is about a 10 foot long diamond-shaped raised bed about one foot high.  It was totally reclaimed wood (with the exception of the four "facer" boards I used to frame the top to give it a finished look.  In beginning this project, I had to envision what I wanted.  I have more pallets in the backyard now, just waiting for my next attempt at creating some beds.  I have a corner picked out which has the composter discreetly hidden behind some lattice work.  I am going to build a set of beds against those lattice pieces, creating a trellis of sorts for some of the vine-type veggies and flowers I hope to plant there.  Each one of these changes to the yard began with something called "desire".  Desire fuels our creativity, initiates our actions, and brings about a great sense of satisfaction when whatever is desired is finally achieved.

Hate evil, you who love the Lord.  He protects his followers and saves them from evil people.  Light and happiness shine on those who want to do right. Good people, be happy in the Lord!  Praise his holy name!  (Psalm 97:10-12 ERV)

The first thing we need to remember about desire is that it must be pure.  When we desire things which are "evil" in nature, we are simply going to realize the accomplishing of things we might have done much better to avoid in the first place.  We don't have to work to embrace evil, but we do have to work to let it go from our lives!  Something so simple as desire can become kind of twisted and "out of proportion" pretty quickly if it is left to the devices of this world's influence.  So, in order to ensure we are pursuing the "right stuff", we need to bring each and every desire to God first.  As we do this, he exerts his influence to help us recognize where there is any impurity in the desire.  I learned something from my pastor this weekend about prayer.  He said to add the tiny word "so" to our prayers to help us understand if they are coming from a pure motive or not.  For example, if our prayer is, "God, make my kids mind me...", we might add the word "so" and then finish it off with, "...so I don't have to spend time parenting them."  Really, this isn't a bad prayer, but it reveals our motive pretty clearly - we don't want to take the time to parent our kids, so we are asking for the easy way out.  Maybe you wouldn't label this as "evil", but there is some "intent" in this prayer which reveals a little bit of a selfish heart. Another way to use the "so" word in our prayer to help us understand if our motives are pure is to pray something like this, "God, help me to parent my children well, so they might become righteous adults."

The next thing to keep in mind is this whole idea of right motives (desires) leading to right action.  Somewhere in-between desire and action is a little thing we call momentum.  Momentum is something akin to the stimulus which causes us to react or take action.  It puts things into motion.  The firing pin in a rifle is simply not there to be pretty - it puts things into motion when the rifle is loaded with a bullet. The firing pin is nothing apart from the trigger, and the whole rifle is pretty much non-functional without the bullet.  The bullet is kind of lame without the gun powder, so what really is the most important part?  I'd have to say it was the finger of the one firing the rifle!  A loaded rifle is just that - loaded, but lame without someone to fire it!  We can have lots and lots of good desires, but they are kind of lame without someone behind them, "pulling the trigger" of sorts, to help them be launched into motion.  There can be a whole lot of "triggering forces" in our lives, so we want to make sure we are not just letting anything trigger us into motion.  We want to be aiming in the correct direction, finding the target in our view, and be calmly moving into action when we find ourselves responding to that trigger.  As I was learning to fire weapons, the instructor always told us of the importance of a quick breath and then to exhale slowly, taking aim and then gently pulling back on the trigger.  Why all this preparation?  It steadied our aim and allowed us to see the target better in our sites.  The right target is imperative, but the right momentum is only achieved when we take things "in order" in our lives.  We cannot step outside of the timing of God, nor can we propose the actions God should take in our lives. 

Get the right desires motivating us, add to it the right amount and timing of momentum, and then we are ready to be taking the right actions which will help us to realize the right goals / targets!  Just sayin!