Little faith goals

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by Major Terry Camsey

The Body Builder

Have you ever tried to play golf on a course with no holes? Or basketball without a hoop? Or pool on a table without pockets? Or soccer without goalposts? Or darts without a board divided into segments and with bulls-eye, singles, doubles, or triples? Or a race track without a finish line?

How could you get a hole-in-one? Or a slam-dunk? Or sink a pool ball? Or score a hat trick? Or hit a bulls-eye? Or win a race?

The answer’s simple: you couldn’t. Without something specific to aim for, you can’t play the game. Games have goals. The goals call for skills. The more skilled achieve the goals. Skills are built by trying, failing, reviewing actions, trying again with some adaptation.

If an archer fails to hit a bull’s-eye, or even the target itself, it is never the fault of the target. It is the result of a lack of skill on the part of the archer. Maybe the archer is using untrue arrows or a bow not strung to the adequate tension. Maybe the archer is not allowing for breezes that blow the arrow off course. Maybe the archer is standing too far away from the target, or too much to one side…

One thing is certain: if that archer (or golfer, or basketball player, or pool participant, or soccer or dart player, or sprinter) is really serious about achieving goals, he or she will keep trying until the skills are mastered. Learning not to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again.

Of course, it is more the exception than the rule that someone is born already brilliant in any field of endeavor. And even the top performers in a specific field are still learners, always seeking the best and never being satisfied with better. I have a video of Winton Marsellis and Kathleen Battle rehearsing for a recording together. Each one is fabulous in his/her own right. What has stayed with me is that each was working with a coach during that recording. In other words, they were and are still teachable.

Goals are set to stretch the participants. They urge them to improve skills, resilience, motivation. Someone has said, “Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go.” In other words, without goals–without something to measure our progress–we will never know what we are capable of. Or, perhaps better said, we may never know our potential…a potential magnified immensely when we release the power of God through faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

The question is, then, whether we have enough faith in God’s ability and willingness to help us discover and realize our potential. Faith enough to express some very specific and measurable goals. To put “holes” on our “golf course,” a “hoop” on our “basketball court,” “pockets” on our “pool table,” “goal posts” on our “soccer field,” “bulls-eyes” on our “dart boards,” “finish lines” on our “race track”…even specific, numerical faith goals on our evangelistic activities.

We have been given that freedom. Could it be that some prefer not to accept the power delegated? And if so, is it because of lack of skills? That is remediable. Or, is it due to a fear of faith?

On the back of our Sunday bulletin at the corps it said this: “There is much room for growth, in the faith of the most devout and consecrated among us…faith is a powerful force and even a little goes a long way…Let us turn our attention towards the potential that we have as we grow in faith (and growth comes from exercise–TC) and exercise faith…We serve and worship a great God and his power is far greater than we can imagine…”

Trust and obey…for there’s no other way!

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