Action

To Touch and Be Touched

by Andy Wood on June 13, 2019

in 100 Words

It’s one thing to envision something from a distance; it’s another to lay eyes on the problem.

It’s one thing to imagine something in the abstract. It’s another to see it in the concrete.

Anybody who ever solved a problem or reached a goal started with an idea or a vision.

But nobody ever solved a problem or reached a goal just by romancing it.

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I was talking to a friend recently. He’s at something of a crossroads. Ready to move forward, but stuck where he is. Wanting something different, but not sure how to define it. Caught somewhere between disappointment and desire, he hears the lament of the Grouse.

That’s a voice I’m all-too-familiar with. And I suspect you’d say the same thing. When I hear the Grouse speaking, the voice sounds exactly like mine. And when you hear its moody whine, it sounds like yours.

The Grouse often sounds logical. Sometimes fearful. Sometimes it takes on a protective, caring tone; at other times it mocks you. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it sings. And sometimes it screams like a spoiled child.

Crazy thing is, nobody can hear the Grouse but you. But it’s as real as Minnesota snow in January.

The Grouse is an internal voice that stays quiet so long as we play it “safe,” and never attempt to change anything. But let a man dare to dream in the wake of big disappointments, and out comes the Grouse. Let a woman turn her wishful thinking into bold action, and the Grouse will start sounding the alarm.

The goal of the Grouse is to get you to do nothing. Stay comfortable. Don’t offend anybody. Avoid disappointment at all cost. Don’t embarrass yourself or make anybody else uncomfortable either.

Just. Don’t. Change. [click to continue…]








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The only time anybody ever accepted responsibility for their lives and future is NOW.

Responsibility isn’t planned; no one ever scheduled responsibility or added it to their to-do list.

Nor is it calculated. You don’t sequence responsibility with a series of other steps.

Responsibility doesn’t look backwards. [click to continue…]








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Growth invites The Resistance.

The Resistance calls for perseverance. [click to continue…]








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Opportunity Clarity Action

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes (John 12:35).

There is clarity (Light).

There is opportunity (a limited time).

There is action (walk).

Clarity without opportunity calls for waiting, not walking.

Opportunity without clarity calls for caution and connection.

When clarity and opportunity converge, this calls for action. [click to continue…]








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The Parable of the Highway Director

by Andy Wood on May 15, 2017

in LV Cycle, LV Stories

A Reverent Retelling of a Familiar Story

Snowstorm Traffic

A Colorado highway director went out to see firsthand the aftermath of a sudden blizzard that struck just at the start of a holiday weekend.

Some vehicles had slid off the road into a ditch or snow bank. Without help they were powerless to move.

Other cars were on the shoulder. Their engines were still running for the time being, but they were not moving forward at all.

Some cars were in the slow lane, cautiously moving forward, but at a pace that made timely arrival at their destination virtually impossible.

Still other vehicles were equipped to drive in the fast lane – some going steadily, some quickly, some dangerously fast, but all headed for their destination.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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Hear now the parable of the Highway Director. [click to continue…]








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I wasn’t going to do it this year.

I was tired. Really tired.

Frankly a little lost.

In a year filled with sorrows, disappointments, and a little health scare of my own, I had about decided to forego the attempt to frame this year around a central theme – my one word. (You can read more about the idea as a substitute for New Year’s resolutions here.)

Previous years saw themes emerge such as Lean, One, Advance!, and Renew.

Cynical candidates for this year included such cheery themes as Coast, Surrender, or Vegetate. Nothing else really seemed to resonate, so I had decided, despite a couple of really good suggestions from my daughter, to pass this year.  That’s when I decided to take a walk yesterday.

And about the same time the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper, “Yes.  Walk.” [click to continue…]








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Standing at the Door

(A re-examination of a previously-published post from 2007)

It was a poignant conversation that probably ended too quickly. I’m sure it called for a little more tenderness and empathy than I was offering at the time.  But hey, at least it was honest.

“I was saved at age 6, and Spirit-filled at age 9,” she said plaintively.  “Now I don’t even know there is a God.  How do I get my faith back?”

I blurted out an answer that distressed more than blessed…

“You start by showing up.”

I’m sure that wasn’t the answer she was looking for. But I still think it’s true.

When it comes to peace or healing or restoration or growth, human nature has a tendency to self-destruct.

How?

By isolating.

Withdrawing.

Withholding or running away from the situation.

The myth is that:

  • Church is for people who have God all figured out.
  • Marriage is for people who remain magically in love and intimate.
  • Financial planning is for people who have all the money they need to do what they want.
  • Friendships are for people who never get disappointed by other people.

It may be time for a healthy dose of reality. [click to continue…]








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Seegulls lined up

In his book The Noticer, Andy Andrews offers this riddle:

Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left?

Answer: Five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things.

I don’t know who decided that the road to hell needed paving, but whoever it was picked some pretty good material. There will always be plenty of good intentions for people to talk about, and even satisfy themselves that having the intention is enough work for today. The problem is, they never get around to actually doing anything about the intention.

They were very sincere. But a lack of action made them sincerely wrong. [click to continue…]








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Average Guy

What are you good at? I mean, really good? When people ask you about your strengths, what are your boilerplate answers?

Now, the dreaded weaknesses. What are those things you repeatedly tell people or God or yourself that you need to work on and improve?

Now I’m sure as soon as you read those questions, the ready answers showed up. And at some point you’ve probably had the tug-of-war about which you should work on – do you leverage your strengths or work on your weaknesses?

Uh huh.

Now take both of those mental lists and set them aside for a minute. Let’s boldly go where no one dares to go…

Let’s talk about your mediocre middle.

See, none of us are awesome at everything, and none of us is terrible at everything. A significant part of your life falls somewhere in the middle. And because it isn’t all that remarkable, you just don’t give it that much attention.

Too bad, since that’s where most of us live most of our lives. [click to continue…]








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