It is mid-August 2016, and like many of you I am sleepy. I am sleepy because every night, I am staying up late watching the Olympics. I am admittedly an avid sports fan, and will regularly watch football, basketball, baseball, and golf . . . but every four years, I find myself cheering for swimmers like they are Semaje Perine running for the go ahead touchdown vs. Texas. In an Olympic year, I cheer for our American athletes regardless the sport.
One category of sports in the Olympic games are the “shooting” sports: things like archery, rifle, and skeet. Just last Saturday, my wife came running into the garage to tell me that American Ginny Thrasher won the gold in Air Rifle. (NOTE: This does not happen very often . . . me cleaning my garage, and my wife celebrating a woman with incredible shooting skills! Ah, Rio.)
Seeing these sports reminded me of an analogy used by Dr. Henry Cloud in his book “Integrity.” Dr. Cloud talked about how important three particular steps are to many areas of life. He described these steps using terminology from shooting sports: “ready,” “aim,” and “fire.” In life we need a good balance of being ready, pointing our lives in the right directions, then actually living out what we have prepared for and “aimed” at. Cloud warns that many times people end up in trouble because they only do one of those three steps:
- Some people only get “ready.” They spend their lives over cautious and overly planned. They are unwilling to do very much, but they have all the gear, education, etc. they will ever need.
- Others are over “Aimers.” They spend their lives analyzing all decisions trying to make the perfect call, yet they are unable to “land the plane.”
- Finally, some just want to “fire.” They make lots of decisions, but many of them are reckless because they are either ill prepared or simply “shooting” at the wrong target.
Healthy people have a good balance of ready, aim, fire, according to Dr. Cloud.
These categories are helpful for me as we make a turn in the book of Romans. For 11 chapters, the Apostle Paul has made clear how we have been made ready in Christ. For 11 chapters he has described the mercies of God that have made it possible for sinners like you and me to be reconciled to our holy God. For 11 chapters, Paul has shown how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has made us ready . . . but ready for what? Certainly for eternity (as our salvation is secure in Jesus), but for what else in this life? What are we supposed to aim at? What are we supposed to point our lives toward?
Over the next 4 weeks at Wildwood Community Church, we will look at where a life made ready in Christ should AIM. This challenging and extremely relevant section of God’s Word will aim us toward:
- August 14: Responding to all God has done with all that we are (Romans 12:1-2)
- August 21: Living in Humility and serving others according to our design (Romans 12:3-8)
- August 28: Loving fellow followers of Christ (Romans 12:9-13)
- September 4: Graciously responding in conflict (Romans 12:14-21)
So make plans to join us in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services this month. We hope to see you there. We are made ready in Christ. Let’s aim toward His purpose, and then fire the choices in our lives by faith according to His design.