A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time Or Accuracy?

In the sport of IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), scores are determined by a combination of time and accuracy.   You are timed at each stage of the competition from the first "beep" of the timer to the last shot.
IDPA Target

After your time is recorded, the range officer takes a look at your target and counts the number of holes (or lack of them-I hate that part!) in the target.  There are scoring values on each target which increase the farther from the center of the target you shoot.  There are also penalties, called "procedural errors" that can be scored against you for doing something that would be considered unsafe or unsportsmanlike.  In the end, your times and points and penalties are put into a mathematical formula which produces a final score.  Your goal is to have the lowest time and number of points as possible to produce the lowest score possible.

 Depending on what category range your point totals fall into, you are then assigned a classification.  Every person shoots the same thing to determine what classification you fall into.  I just did this on recently.

When I first began shooting I was, of course, a "novice".  Last weekend, my scores enabled me to move up one classification to "marksman".  And when my scores get even  better I can move up to the classification of "sharpshooter".  Then there's "master" and "expert", but I'm not sure which one comes first or that I'll ever shoot well enough to find out!

If you are a new shooter, like me, you have to find the balance between time and accuracy to achieve the best score possible.  I've come to find out that it is a delicate balance.  My husband shoots fast, but not very accurately.  I, on the other hand, almost always end up on the Top 15 Most Accurate Shooters List.  However, my ranking is always much lower than my husbands which tells me that perhaps  I need to focus a little more on speed  and a little less on accuracy.  However, that scares me because I like to know exactly where the gun is pointed before I pull the trigger.  I'm not confident enough in my aiming skills yet to be able to tell when I'm at least close to being on target.   Every match I think, "oh, I'll just throw caution to the wind and just go through with guns blazing", but I never do.  It might get me a better score, but I'd be a wreck by the time it's all over!  LOL!

The Christian life is also a delicate balance of time and accuracy.  We can dedicate a lot of time to doing things and still end up not being very accurate or fruitful.  Religious activity will quickly take us over and try to tell us that more is better and even more is even more better! (Pardon my English, but it illustrates my point!)   But at the end of the day, there may not be many "hits" on our target.   We must take time to develop accuracy!  Then the time we spend in Christian service will produce the kind of results that we and God desire-everlasting results-fruit that remains!

Matthew 7:21-23
 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

These people were are the "doers" of the church!  They are very busy doing religious activity.  The Lord however calls them evildoers!  They spend loads of time doing all these things "for the Lord" but those works end up meaning nothing.  Their works are not what turns the key to the Kingdom of God.  So the quantity of time is not what is of utmost importance.  Even people today, in cults, spend much time "doing" for the Lord, but it means nothing.  It has no eternal value whatsoever. 

The Lord never was very interested in quantity.  He was more interested in the widow's mite than the large offerings of the rich.  He was more interested in short, heartfelt prayers than the prayers of
those that thought they "would be heard for their many words".  He chose the 12, not the multitude.  The path that leads to eternal life is narrow and "few" there be that find it. 

Religion tells us that deeds are very important, after all, we will be judged by our deeds!  Yes, that's true!  A popular doctrine I hear touted by many t.v. preachers today is that we will be judged by what is in our hearts not by what we do.  If you can prove that to me in scripture I will be a believer but every Bible sitting on my shelf tells me otherwise. How convenient it would be to be able to be a stinker on the earth and still go to heaven!  It would be so much easier than living a holy life!  Friends, our deeds are proof of what is in our heart!  Therefore our hearts are judged by our deeds!  Let no man deceive you on this! 

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

However, we can use our deeds to know what is in our hearts which will give us an inkling of how accurate we truly can be in the Spirit.   If our hearts are mucked up with all kinds of junk from the world and from our life before Christ, our accuracy will be way off!  The Lord chooses and uses clean vessels, ones that are pure inside and out.  The only avenue we can take to get that way is through sanctification which is the ongoing process of the Christian life in which we spend much time in prayer listening to the Spirit and allowing Him to change us into the image of His Son.  It is the time that we spend telling the Lord how much we need Him to accomplish ANYTHING of eternal value either in our hearts or in the world. 

In the shooting world, there is a saying "slow is smooth, smooth is fast".   If we start out slow and develop smooth movements-smooth draws, smooth magazine changes, and smooth steps-this will make us accurate.  As we become more and more trained in smoothness, it becomes more and more natural to move that way and we automatically become faster without losing our accuracy.  Soon our names will begin to move up the list of every list of shooting results. 

It's much the same way in the spiritual world.  The first thing we need to do is what both Jesus and the Apostle Paul did-get away alone with the Lord.  Jesus went into the wilderness and scripture tells us that He came out FULL of power!  The Apostle Paul went away for some years before starting his ministry where he was taught by Jesus Himself and when he did minister, he was very accurate and productive!   You see, we get our instructions from the Lord.  HE decides what, when, how and where He wants us to be doing.  If we do not know His voice well enough to get His full instruction we can end up doing something outside of His plan, which is worthless!  We can even end doing something wrong, which is worse!  God would rather have you accomplish one thing rightly and accurately than 100 things wrongly!

Many churches want to grab a new believer and immediately get them involved in "doing" something when what we should do is grab new believers and immediately get them on the road to "being" something.  It's the being that produces the doing.  Faith without works is dead, but works without faith are also dead!  When we have heard a clear call from the Lord, when we have received His instruction, when we have allowed Him to prepare us for service THEN we ARE and we DO with accuracy! 

Maybe you are feeling that you aren't very accurate in the Kingdom of God.  STOP what you're doing and take some time to just seek the Lord.  The Lord can do more in one day than we could ever hope to accomplish in a lifetime.  He isn't interested in what we do for Him, He is interested in how much we let Him do through us.  My husband always says "The success of our spiritual lives does not depend on how much of the Spirit we have.  It depends on how much of us the Spirit has!"   The Spirit takes His time in making us accurate.  Let Him have His way in you today so that when you stand before the Lord and all that you did is recounted in the court of heaven, afterward you will hear, "well done my good and faithful servant.  Enter into my rest."


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