Moving Off the Wish List

The notes come flying—double stopped rhythms dance, pulling my heart up and around.

Oh, how I wish I could play like that.

I could, you know…play like Mark O’Connor, fiddle master. Well, probably not. But I could play a reel that dances.

It would take something, though.

A sacrifice.
Of time,                      of energy,                            of effort,

of commitment.

Personally, I’m a fan of the Think System. Promoted by Professor Harold Hill while he grew a boys’ band in River City, Iowa the summer of 1912, it was a force to be reckoned with.

Just think you can. Dream big. Think positive. Play it out in your mind over and over again and hum along—it’ll just …well…happen.

There’s a lot to be said for the Think System. During the 90’s, I became enraptured with figure skating. The flow across the ice, the rhythmic pull of legs over frozen stage, the tight spinning while catapulted in the air—all of it entranced me. I yearned to skate like the pros, or at least to glide across the ice without teetering, bent forward, hands grasping for the wall. I watched hours of skating competitions. One night, I dreamt I was at a rink. I was skating in the dream–truly skating–leaping, spinning, gracefully extending limbs as I flew across the surface. I could FEEL myself skating!

Then I woke up.

It felt like I had really spent hours flying over the ice, but I hadn’t.

And I still can’t skate better than a two-year-old.

I wonder how often the Think System is not merely a cinema plot line I view, but
a way I approach my life.  I hope my job goes well, but are there moments I do not maximize my talents? I aspire to have a happy, fulfilling marriage, but do I sometimes live the relationship without tending each corner? I desire a home of order and peace, but often let the horizontals gather because I scurry from task to task.

Reading through Hebrews, I inevitably arrive at the eleventh chapter. I find myself
aspiring to have the faith of a harlot, who risked all to align herself with God’s people; with Abraham, whose trust in God’s provision led him to give up that which he loved most; with the soldiers of Joshua who, on command, did the seemingly ridiculous and useless, but broke down walls of stone.

I have a faith To-Do List of sorts:

* Become a woman of unshakable faith. (Does that mean I am willing to have that
tested?! Maybe I should change that one…)

* Shepherd my children’s hearts to God by example and words. (The sands of time
on the first chapter of this lifelong commitment are nearly out, and I am still
trying to figure out how the page to section two begins…)

* Use my time, blessings, and talents wisely, for His purposes.

* Have scripture so deeply woven into my heart that I give ready answer to myself
and others at every turn.

Thinking about the Lions of Faith only inspires me. They give me a real life goal to emulate, as they emulate Christ.

Keeping a life of faith safely placed on my Wish List  does not cause the heart growth needed for me to join their ranks. Nor does it grow feet on my faith.

Doing does.

Feeding my heart a steady diet of God’s wisdom, and submitting to what He chooses to use to exercise its muscles will grow my heart. Picking up the shoes of service, slipping them on (even if they are a tight fit!), then pushing myself out the door when it’s not convenient, or appealing, or easy offers God fertile ground upon which to grow a strong heart. And that side-by-side cultivating, working together for both a present and future benefit, is what we both desire.

Five verbs.
Five actions. Five deliberate and daily moves beyond the Think System:



picking up and slipping on,

then pushing myself.

Five daily moves to a side-by-side wholeness.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and the follow me. John 10:27

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…Matthew 28:19, 20

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only…James 1:22

Seven verbs.                            Seven actions.

You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works. James 2:22

About An Earthen Vessel--Terri Apgar

Wife of one, mother of three, so grateful for God's grace--that's me. I'm just tucked into my bay window, opening my heart to God and trying to be brave about letting Him use all that He has crafted inside me to His glory.
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2 Responses to Moving Off the Wish List

  1. parklinscomb says:

    Nicely put. Well written. Thoughtful. Thanks.

  2. Lynn Maire says:

    Here is one talent you have that you share with the rest of us. Thank you (and it doesn’t mater how tight those shoes are – or if they are on at all. 🙂 )

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