Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fire! Ready! Aim!

Over the weekend I took on a garden project that I could not finish. Either it was too big, or I’m too lazy to get it done in one session.

I began to dig out a number of bushes and flowers and hedges to re-order the entire back fence line. By the time I ran out of energy, I still had major plants out of the ground, so I filled a tub with water and let them soak till Monday when I resumed work on the plants instead or resuming work on writing my fire history book.

Drought conditions baked the soil into hardpan covered by a layer of talcum powder-line dust. Water just pools on top of this dust instead of soaking in.

Last night at the grocery store, Ginny and I bumped into a lady who once supervised one of our daughters at work in a former job.

“You must be Eve’s parents,” she said, “You look just like her”.

That’s a nice compliment.

We have no identity of our own; for years we have only existed as “so and so’s mom & dad”.

This lady talked quite a bit about the policies of agency she now works for. Instead of moving forward, the agency careens. Policy reacts to conditions and complaints. Political maneuvers dictate budget. Apathy grips workers. Employees just hold on till retirement. No body looks forward to going to work in the morning. Students are neither learning nor behaving. Chaos reigns.

After the lady unloaded to us, she parted saying, “The board’s motto should be Fire! Ready! Aim!”

Like the reverse orders of a firing squad.

I think she meant first they act, then they try to justify that act, then they decide what the act is for.

Her quip apply describes my garden and my life.

I do something.

Then I arrange things to justify what I’ve done.

Then I try to fit what I’ve already done into a reasonable plan.

Think of all the work and scratches and bug bites and sweat and dirt and energy I would have saved if I had envisioned that back fence line, then planted the bushes in order, then relaxed to see them grow —Before just sticking plants in the ground and now having to uproot all.

I mean, how hard is it to start off with tall plants in back, little plants in front?

In my life there is so much haphazard stuff that has grown up here and there, now and then — like the guy in the Bible who had both wheat and tares growing in the same field. It took the angels of God at the end of the age to sort that mess out.

In day to day stuff, I loose track of God’s purpose in letting me be a Christian in the first place.

The Bible says, “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is…”

We shall be like Him.

We shall be Christ-like.

The goal for us is to be conformed to the image of His Son. Like paperclips rubbed against a magnet, we are to take on the qualities and character of Jesus while still being true to our paperclip-selves.

That is what Christianity is all about.

I lose sight of that. I fire, then ready an explanation, then try to squeeze it into the over all plan.

When things get that out-of-hand, like that haphazard collection of plants along my back fence, it takes a major uprooting to get things straight.

Uprooting is painful.

I want to avoid it.

But is uprooting any less painful than to allow the tangle to grow unchecked?

To living life more and more disordered?

To letting precious relationships be choked by weeds?

To existing starved for sun light, overshadowed by wild stuff that grows out of control?

All things will be uprooted eventually.

No getting around that.

To become Christ-like, that’s the goal.

Ready! Aim! Fire!


a political rant:

As I dug in the hardpan soil and chopped entangling roots yesterday, I thought of how hard it must be to dig a hole in the middle of a road in Iraq to plant a bomb.

Makes noise.

Creates dust clouds.

Takes a lot of effort.

Generates a lot of activity.

If in the dark of night I were to dig a hole to plant a bomb in the middle of my street, some neighbor would be sure to notice.

Recently some U.S. Marines have been accused of killing “innocent civilians” when a road-side bomb murdered on of those soldiers.

Investigations have been launched by both U.S. and Iraqi governments. The soldiers may stand trial — Yet, no one launched any investigation to see who planted the bomb.

Makes me wonder!

Looks to me that somebody somewhere had to have seen that hole dug and that bomb planted. Any “innocent civilian” could have reported it to keep the Marines from being blown up.

Any friend would do that.

An enemy would let you step on the bomb to get your legs and balls blown off, leaving you to bleed out in the dirt beside the road.


Do you suppose that if every time a road side bomb goes off, the soldiers shot everyone in all the closest houses, that maybe some “innocent civilian” might be motivated to start reporting the digging in the middle of the road?

If our troops are not there to kill enemies, then why are they there?

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posted by John Cowart @ 6:50 AM


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Good title and good post.

The Marines thing needs time to be thoroughly investigated. Until then, I don't hold an opinion since I have no idea what actually took place. I do believe though, in innocence until proven otherwise.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Seeker said...


At 9:10 AM, Blogger Living Life in South Carolina said...

Many of the 'innocent civilians' are probably living in fear. The enemy could very well be living among them and perhaps they feel that if they warn the marines and soldiers the enemy will kill them and their family as a lesson to all the other civilians out there.

This country, while in the process of being liberated, is not truly free yet. The people still live in fear and death is a daily reality to them all. I'm sure there are some civilians out there who could care less about what happens to our soldiers (or who wish they'd all burn in hell), and I certainly count them as 'the enemy' but I think a majority of the people are still afraid.

I do get tired of hearing about all the reports on our soldiers and all the evils they've done. What about what the enemy is doing to the innocent and to our soldiers when they capture them? Let America hear about all the horrors these people really have to live with and perhaps then all these "human rights activists" will insist that we fight this fight to the end and not leave this country hanging in limbo.

Sorry to leave such a long comment...that's my humble opinion!


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