Archive for November, 2007

Initiative part 2

(Maybe that should be Initiator2. Isn’t that how second movies are named?  But really this should be part one because it initiated part one which is really part two only I wrote it first. I’d better stop before I get something started.) …Anyway, leinadcaro and I were riding home in the truck one day when we passed a local strip mall.   Says he, “Rats, they took out the Radio Shack.  Now there isn’t one in Mo-town.” It set me to thinking.  Why would they take it out?  For that matter why had Radio Shack changed so much over the years.  Well, naturally to follow the buying trends, stay where the money is.  It seems that the company is dying out.  But why? It reminded me of a statement an aircraft instructor had made to me, “Farmers make the best missionary pilots and mechanics.” (Follow close. If you haven’t noticed this piece involves stream of consciousness content which could make one a little sea sick considering the current mind involved. Scary?)  You see the original Radio Shack was the electronics heaven, a tinker’s toybox.  If you wanted to make a radio or fix one or design a new electronic gadget Radio Shack had all the pieces and some of the tools and instructions.  As time went along the market shifted toward Radio Shack providing the electronics to plug and play.  Farmers have and always will survive on a big dose of initiative.  If they don’t get up at 5 AM and work until dusk it ain’t  goin’ to happen (remember, consciousness stream). So if the plane is down, the tools are few, and the time is short they will figure a way of getting it done and pull it off safely.  What we’ve lost is initiative. Few are willing to dig and try again and innovate and fail and rise up to try a new way.  And some who do do it on a plug and play level, throw away society that we are.  So we’ve traded “necessity is the mother of invention” for “laziness is the mother of invention”.  Only it’s not. Lack of initiative is killing our educational system, our economic system, and our legal system.  Stand up! Do something! No, not anything, something right and good and profitable. God help us. “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” (Proverbs 19:24) I think I just had a rant. I best back it up with some initiative of my own at family, at work, at church.

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Initiative (part 1b)

What drives people to succeed or to even try, and more especially, to keep trying when success appears remote? “The action of taking the first step or move; responsibility for beginning or originating..new ideas or methods; ability to think and act without being urged” (Webster’s New World, 4th edition, 2002) and persisting therein is initiative. If the initiative includes creativity, experimentation, and a knack of getting by with meager resources we perhaps prefer the term enterprising. But both of these terms and a number of others are “whats” not “whys”. As I fish around for what drives people a word that seems ugly to me pops up- ambition. Many will respond that ambition can be good or bad depending on the motive. But the word means “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment” (www.dictionary.com). You can try to sanctify it but that first and most thought of definition has a negative connotation for the Christian, namely pride and selfishness. There just may not be an English word that means Christ-centered initiative-drive (Yeah, treading where fools know better, but it invites good discussion from those more knowledgeable. Yes, I checked other similar words, but…). But Paul seems to purposefully negate selfishness and pride in the three uses of the Greek word translated “ambition” in the NASB, suggesting a need to sanctify the concept. “Our ambition…to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9) is other directed. Later verses reveal more of the motivation behind pleasing Him: “knowing the fear of the Lord” (v.11) and “the love of Christ controls us” (v. 14). And I Thessalonians 4:11-12 is not a real charismatic grab for your pride: “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands,… that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” There has to be something deeper driving you to persist at that.
And what of non-believers who show initiative in unselfish ways? Is all that nothing more than pride disguised? It certainly isn’t Christ-centered, but I believe common grace both explains some (pride is insidious) of this “unselfish ambition” and gives glory to God in the process. He is the source of all good. What other explanation promotes both unselfishness and the good of the person? God really is glorified in all things (Do you believe that? Think an ugly thought about something really disgusting before you answer- another blog another day perhaps.)
God is The Initiator, driven by His own unalterable, prevenient (non-presupposed by any other) will that shows His glory. Just to try, to plan and figure out how and carry it out, and to continue to try until I succeed all point to the One who initiates in my heart and life all good and all substantial……. I think I’ll go try again.

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What drives people to succeed or to even try, and more especially, to keep trying when success appears remote?

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Interpreting what we see and hear and otherwise intimately or remotely detect is always a subjective exercise. At its most objective and logical Science can only be as true as the presuppositional truth upon which it is based. Given two sound logical processes the one starting with truth is the only one that can end thus. Read about how Charles Darwin had the beginnings of truth but accepted a false interpretation of how the earth’s structure came to be by clicking on His Own Interpreter (8th in a series)

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Pursuing too many things when only one is necessary. That was the way Jesus put it to Martha when she was irritated with Mary for not helping out with the preparations for dinner. Mary was at the feet of Jesus listening and learning and loving. I too want to narrow my aim [poem link ] and make Jesus the focus.

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains