discipline

Time

by Larry Hehn on August 3, 2015

timeA few nights ago my wife and I, looking for a break from a busy week, decided to crash on the sofa and watch a movie. After flipping through the Netflix directory for several minutes and failing to find anything that excited the two of us, we settled for the 1996 John Travolta/Christian Slater flick Broken Arrow.

As reviewer Don Kaye describes it, Broken Arrow “delivers a number of exciting action sequences but is let down by a credibility-straining plot.”

While it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen (that distinction belongs to 1984’s Night Patrol), it was far from the best. As the credits started to roll I turned to my wife and said, “Well, that’s 109 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”

When it comes to time and what we do with it, I’ve determined we have three options:

  1. Waste it. When my time is “wasted”, it’s used up in pursuits that don’t generate anything of value for me or anyone else. Things like worrying. Mindless entertainment. Looking for ways to be offended. Plotting revenge. Posting angry rants. Reading angry rants. People magazine. Night Patrol.
  2. Spend it. When my time is “spent”, it’s used up in pursuits that may be worthwhile, may be necessary, but offer little long term impact on me or those around me. Things like sleeping. Eating. Making the bed. Mowing the lawn. Shaving. Ok, the necessity of shaving is debatable…
  3. Invest it. When my time is invested, it generates a return not just for myself, but for others. Things like praying. Visiting the sick and lonely. Making meals for those who don’t have the time or means. Learning a new skill with practical applications. Teaching someone a new skill. Offering sincere hope and encouragement. Seeking and pointing out the good. Mending fences. Seeking reconciliation. Choosing not to be offended.

The next 24 hours are going to go by anyway. With those three options before me, the hope for a positive legacy lies in how much I focus on category 3. What I do with my time is entirely up to me.

Who or what will you invest your time in today?

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

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Put on your new nature

by Larry Hehn on December 10, 2013

butterflyEarlier this year we renovated our bathroom.

The old shower head hung less than 6′ above the base of the tub. It wasn’t a problem for my wife, who fit comfortably underneath it. But I always had to crouch in the shower to keep my head from smashing into the low-hanging plumbing.

One of the first changes we made was to raise the shower head to 7′ high so I wouldn’t have to duck anymore.

The change has been liberating, to say the least.

I can now stand up straight and still have several inches of clearance between me and the shower head. Gone are the threats of bruises on my forehead and the need for sloppy posture.

But still, a few days ago, I caught myself crouching in the shower again.

I had fallen back into my old conditioning.

Even though the shower head is now well out of harm’s way and there’s no need for me to duck, I unconsciously went back to my old habit.

Yes, even when there’s no good reason to go there, sometimes we slip back into auto-pilot and find ourselves in a familiar rut.

In his letters, Paul had to remind the Colossians and Ephesians to “put on your new nature” – so they didn’t slip back into the old.

So don’t be surprised or discouraged if you catch yourself slumping back into your old default mode. Know that it’s a conscious, Spirit-led decision to put on your new nature and leave the old behind.

As John White says in The Fight, “Transformation is not an overnight matter. It takes a lifetime.”

Stand up tall, and put on your new nature.

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. – Colossians 3:10

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. – Ephesians 4:21-24

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 7:21-25a

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. – Romans 8:6

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. – Romans 8:12-13

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Triple Play

by Larry Hehn on August 7, 2013

baseballEvery year, more than 2,400 regular season games are played in Major League Baseball. Over the past 20 years, roughly four triple plays have been recorded each year on average.

At those odds, you’d likely have to watch over 600 baseball games before witnessing a triple play. That’s more than 7 seasons if you attend your favorite team’s every home game.

The triple play is a rare and exciting feat.

It’s one of the most energizing plays for the team that makes it, and one of the most deflating for the team that suffers it.

In the almost 40 years I’ve been playing softball, I’ve now been part of two triple plays.

The first was about 25 years ago. My team was batting. I was on second base, with a teammate on first. Our batter hit a hard ground ball straight to the third baseman. He fielded the ball, stepped on third to record me as the first out, and threw to second for the next out. The second baseman relayed the throw on to first for the triple play.

The second triple play of my career was last week, but this time the shoe was on the other foot. The opposing team had runners on first and second. I was playing first base. The batter hit a sharp line drive that the runners thought was going through for a hit. I managed to snag the line drive and tag out the runner between first and second in one motion. I then threw the ball to our shortstop in time to force out the other runner who was scrambling back to second base.

That was followed by a lot of cheers and high fives!

To witness a triple play is special on its own. To record two of the outs and assist on the third is a rare honor. I don’t expect to experience another triple play in my dwindling softball career, so this one will definitely be treasured. I don’t think I have another 600 games in me!

The chance to turn a triple play doesn’t present itself very often. I now realize it took years of practice, and plenty of routine plays, to get me ready to help turn that one piece of history.

So while you may be looking for that 1-in-600 chance to shine, remember the other 599 games you need to get you there.

You can’t have one without the other.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9

What’s the most memorable sporting moment you’ve witnessed?

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