Tag Archives: direction

But, Then Again, on the Other Hand…

Story of the Day for Tuesday March 27, 2012

But, Then Again, on the Other Hand…

At dawn the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” But Lot hesitated.

Genesis 19:15-16

One of the greatest singers of all time, Luciano Pavarotti, knew what he wanted to be from a young age. He wanted to be a soccer goalie.

Luciano’s mother urged him to become a teacher instead, so he sought a degree in education. But his father, Fernando, introduced him to the joy of singing. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor, took on Luciano as a student — teaching him without pay.

Pavarotti was torn. Should he pursue a teaching career or seek to become a

professional singer? Finally, his father put it to him bluntly, “Luciano, if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.”

When Abram and Lot started running out of elbow room, they decided to part ways on friendly terms. Abram gave his nephew Lot first choice, and he chose the fertile lands to the east. Lot settled with his family in the town of Sodom.

One day, two angels warned Lot to take his family and flee from the city because God was about to destroy it. This wasn’t a great time to hesitate, but that’s exactly what Lot did.

Major decisions in life have the tendency to paralyze us. No matter what we decide we can always say, “Yes, but on the other hand . . .”  When we seek to serve the Lord with our gifts and abilities, our problem is seldom that we choose the wrong direction; it’s that we can’t decide, so we choose no direction at all.

Up on Pinkham Creek, the animal version of  Russian Roulette is to attempt to run in front of a vehicle without becoming roadkill.

The gophers gather in the ditch and one of them says, “Okay Harvey, it’s your turn.” Another gopher shouts, “Hey, I hear something coming!” The gophers keep Harvey poised until the vehicle is closing in on them and then they shout, “Go, Harv, hit it!” And Harvey barrels across the road as fast as he can scamper . . . which isn’t all that fast.

Yet, while gophers aren’t all that fast, they seldom get hit because they always race for the other ditch without hesitation.

The pine squirrels play the same game but are far faster. Yet, in the middle of the road they stop, turn around and start to run back. Hesitate. Turn around. Run the other way. Stop. Hesitate . . . Squirrels are lighting quick but often lose at Russian Roulette.

There’s a lesson here.

But, then again, do I really need to spell it out for you?

On the other hand, without an application my meaning could be misunderstood.

Nevertheless, shouldn’t I trust that you’re smart enough to figure it out for yourself?

Okay, maybe I should explain the meaning of the gopher story, but I always limit my articles to one page, so it’ll have to be brief.

Oh, for crying out loud, I just ran out of space.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

The Right Direction

Story of the Day for Tuesday March 6, 2012

The Right Direction

                                  It’s fine to be zealous, as long as the purpose is good.

                                                               Galatians 4:18

Is “ambition” a virtue?  How about “zeal”?  I’ve never heard anyone claim that ambition can be a vice.  But, if ambition is a positive quality, then we must also realize it can be used in destructive ways.

If you want to go to Toledo, Ohio, you will be concerned about two things: speed and direction.  You’ll probably choose to drive a car over riding a donkey. But speed is a completely useless quality if we take the wrong highway and are headed to Omaha.

Ambition is speed.

 

Jesus acknowledged that the Scribes and Pharisees were ambitious.  He said to them, “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert.”  But Jesus continues by saying their ambition is destructive: “. . . and when you win a convert, he becomes twice the son of hell you are!”

When Paul writes to the church in Galatia, he warns them about Jewish legalists trying to infiltrate their congregation. These infiltrators want to persuade the church to abandon the freedom of the Gospel in order to submit to the regulations of the Old Covenant.  Paul admits these legalists are go-getters. But speed must be coupled with direction. “It’s fine to be zealous (speed),” Paul says, “as long as the purpose is good (direction).”

 

During World War II, the Germans had a ball bearing factory in the city of Schweinfurt.  The Americans reasoned that, if they could destroy the plant and stop the production of ball bearings, the production of war machinery would come to a halt and the Germans would have no choice but to surrender.

In two bombing raids to destroy the ball bearing plant, Americans lost 98 bombers and badly damaged another 138.  Yet, despite the enormous losses, the Army Air Force leader, General “Hap” Arnold was ecstatic, “Now we have got Schweinfurt!”

After the war, the Army Air Force wanted to know which of their bombing targets were most effective.  The Germans acknowledged the great damage done by bombing oil refineries, railroad yards, and bridges.  But the Nazi chief of productions, Albert Speer, said the bombing of the ball bearing factory at Schweinfurt did not harm the German cause.  They already had ample stockpiles of ball bearings.  Beside, they were able to import all they wanted from Sweden and Switzerland. Not only that, the bombings destroyed the buildings, but not the machines that made the ball bearings.  Focusing all that attention on the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt did virtually no harm.  We were zealous in destroying the target.  But we chose the wrong one.

 

It doesn’t matter how fast you’re going until you’re headed in the right direction.

                                                     (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)