"Enjoy the Process Boys"


My college baseball coach had a saying that just unnerved me. You see we were not that great of a baseball program. Each year we would end up south of .500 in the win/loss column.....okay maybe south of .300. We had some talented players but our program did not have the money, facilities and the kind of weather to attract the best players. The other schools we competed against were able to go out and offer some full scholorships to get some top level pitchers and usually a few guys who could really spank the ball. We were basically outmanned talent wise against nearly every opponent we faced.

And since we didn't have the firepower to win consistently at that level our coach had a different kind of mantra. "Just enjoy the process, boys." 

To the 18 year old me that seemed like a cop out. Enjoying the process to me meant accepting graciously that we are losers. We cannot accomplish what the goal of the game is, we can't win, so let's change the goal.  Instead of winning lets just try and enjoy the process and have fun while we are getting our butt's kicked! My first two seasons in that program were very tough for me because I wanted to win and I didn't want to buy into what I percieved as "a losing mentality." I resisted it at every turn.

My third year in the program I finally started to understand what my coach meant by "Enjoy the process, boys" Honestly by that point I had probably heard him say it 1000 times but it never really sank in what he meant until my junior year. He meant that we needed to love the game enough, enjoy the game enough, to go through the process each day of working, practicing, trying to get better. And if we truly loved that process, truly enjoyed all that that entailed then we would be successful even if the scoreboard didn't show it. To love the game, give ourselves over to the game and put in the kind of effort every day to get better would be our only chance of finding success. And if he could teach us that lesson as young men it would be a concept that would follow us the rest of our lives.

I'm grateful now for the lessons Coach taught me. And I think there are some important truths in what he was teaching. There is not a scoreboard in life though the world would have us believe that there is. How differently would we 'play the game' if we could enjoy every detail of the process instead of being so focused on the result? What are we missing out on because we are not taking the time to be conciously aware that we are supposed to be enjoying the process?

The other day my daughter and I were discussing her upcoming hunting plans this fall. All she kept talking about was getting a big buck. She really hopes she gets some nice antlers for her wall this year. And using my best impersonation of my baseball coach I told her that she needed to "Just enjoy the process, girl".

I think that is some advice we could all remember as late summer and fall adventures are right on the horizon. We are lucky to be able to spend time hunting and fishing in this country. Out west where we live is some of the most beautiful country created! We get to spend time with family and friends out there. We get moments of solitude and stillness. We get fresh air. We get to feel the anticipation of cool brisk morning, the thrill of excitement that gives you goosebumps, gets your knees quivering, or send your  heart pounding through your chest. We love this! We get to feel the sense of accomplishment of a job well done and quite often we get to face the agony of defeat. We get to spend time in creation with the Creator. Don't miss it because you are so focused on a result. Look for God, listen for his voice. Proceed with a posture of gratefulness that we get to do this! And, just enjoy the process.




Tuning In....


My dog really impressed me the other day. We were out behind the house enjoying one of our daily morning walks when I heard a faint sound from way over on my neighbor’s property. I had to hear it twice to be sure, but it was the “putt, putt, putt, putt” sound quail make when they’re scurrying through the brush. Now understand that my dog is half Springer and half cattle dog mix (also known as an accident), so I never know how she’ll respond to birds. We had hunted pheasants several times last fall, but it had been months since we had been on birds of any kind, including the occasional quail on our property. So I looked over, expecting her to still be rooting around chasing mice or bugs or whatever it is she finds in the grass. Nope! She was in full hunt mode, flying up and down the trail, bouncing into the air, staring in the direction of the faint sound. She knew those birds were well beyond her limits, but there was no doubt they had her full attention!

I finished the walk thinking my dog might have more potential as a bird dog than I had realized. She hadn’t seen those quail for months, but the memory and instinct was right there when that sound hit her ears. She had heard thousands of bird calls since she last heard a quail, but she knew this was one that mattered. She was ready to go, and it was fun to watch!

You can probably guess where I’m headed with this. There are thousands of sounds and voices that we hear all day, every day. Lots of things trying to grab our time and attention. In the middle of that, God is also speaking to us, but it’s up to us to sort out His voice and hear it over everything else. It’s up to us to pay attention and hear what He has to say.

I want to take it one step farther, though. God allows us a choice as we listen. See, for my dog that choice is taken care of by instinct. Sparrows and chickadees are birds, but quail and pheasants are BIRDS! She knows which to ignore and which matter. For us, it’s not always so simple. Do I pass off this circumstance or that story as random chance, or do I look twice to see if God is in it? Anyone can recognize God’s voice if it comes packaged and labeled, but what about those subtle things where God is there if we choose to see Him? It’s human to be lazy and overlook those opportunities, but it’s a safe guess that God is waiting with good things for us far more often than we choose to recognize. It’s simply up to us to look for God, even in the mundane things that seem empty at first glance.

Keep your eyes and ears open for God’s voice and the cackle of the first pheasant of the fall coming out of the grass!



Hello Trouble


I ran acrossed this video on You Tube several weeks ago. When I first saw it I felt something stir in my heart. "Good marketing I thought. Those folks at Gerber know their audience and they know how to appeal to them." But as time passed I kept thinking back to this video.

Now I have learned over the years that when something moves me whether it it be a movie, a sunset, a song on the radio, a book, or even an ad like this one that it usually means the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention. There is something more going on and it's worth unpacking the bag and trying find the treasure.

I think the treasure is that this video is an image of man as we were created to be. Strong, courageous, fearless, unwavering, confident; understanding that we have an enemy who is trouble....and we go looking for him. Don't you want to live like that? I think we all do. But I also think that more often than not their is a fog that surrounds our lives and we lose sight of who we are at the core of our being. We shrink back and what we offer the world, our friends, our family our jobs is often less than what we could be giving.

If Jesus was the image that God put on this earth to show us what a man looks like when he walks with God, then we would do well to study the life of Jesus, right? I can see Jesus in the video above, can't you?

Hello Trouble? As is walking into the temple on the sabbath and healing a man in front of  the pharisees, knowing it will make the religious leaders 'furious with rage'. In fact Jesus is constantly picking fights with these guys!

Hello Trouble. As in facing the tempation of satan in the wilderness.

Hello Trouble. As in driving out demons. Commanding storms to cease.

Hello Trouble. Like befriending tax collectors, sinners, talking with prostitutes in the town square, touching and healing the lame and the sick.

How about fighting for justice, teaching with authority, turning tables over in the temple turned casino? Hello Trouble.

Hello Trouble. That night in Gethsemane. The fervent prayer all night long. Sweat pouring off his brow. Giving himself up to the soldiers. Being beat up, spit upon, whipped, ridiculed.....Hello Trouble.

Carrying the cross up the hill, his beaten body pushed past it's limit. Then the crown. And more ridicule followed by the nails and then a slow, painful death. But that is not the end....

Hello Trouble!....he decends to the depths of hell and wrestles the keys of sin and death away from Satan and returns victorious 3 days later.

I think a lot of Christians miss the impact of Jesus' life because they miss a very key component in all of this. Jesus was fully man. We tend to think, "Well yeah Jesus was great, but he was God so of course he did all kinds of amazing things." Kind of. Jesus was fully man and he was fully God. But while on earth Jesus humbled himself as a man. Fully as a man. All of the things he did on this earth was him acting 100% as man and also walking closley with God the father. Just as we are called to do. Jesus did not cheat on the test. He was showing us how to live and what can be done if we walk in close relationship with God.

So to the point. I think this video stirred my soul because I think we all need to be reminded of just who we are, what we were created to be and whose image we bear. There is no condemnation. None whatsoever. Instead we should feel empowered. Because if you are a Christian, that same power is dwelling inside of you! You and I just need to believe it.

And then lets go looking for some trouble!