Finding Neutral

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Vital Men Devotions

‘Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. ‘ 2 Peter 1:5-9 

As an archer, one of my biggest accuracy killers is emotion, or rather the over abundance of it.  When I’m shooting, one of the main things I need to stay focused on is remaining neutral.  When I’m shooting poorly, things are not clicking like I believe they should and know myself capable, one of the hardest things to do is to remain neutral.  I begin to get frustrated, anxious, tense and ultimately angry.  This emotion clouds my focus, I can not see clearly nor can I feel what is breaking down.  This negative emotion rules and translates to my equipment and things continue to deteriorate.  

When in the field, the exact same applies, though the situation is different.  I will likely get only one opportunity to put it all together.  Each move of my stalk, if on the ground, must be perfect.  My timing is critical.  My mechanics must be flawless.  Adrenaline is flowing like the Colorado River, but I must control it.  There’s no room or time to allow emotion to rule.  I have to remain neutral and execute.  This is especially crucial when things go south.  I made a mistake and the quarry is alerted, or the animal doesn’t move through or stop as I had hoped.  If I allow emotion to flare up, you can just about guarantee I’m going to do something stupid, make a mistake, tense up, force a bad shot, etc.  The end result…GAME OVER!    

I see this every single day in myself and others.  So often we go through life, allowing emotions to dictate our course of action and reaction.  We allow those emotions to sabotage our day, our work, our relationships, our lives.  Just as in my above illustration, when we allow every thing that doesn’t go our way to get under our skin, frustrate, create anxiety, upset or anger us, we are allowing emotion to cloud our focus and steal our joy.  Things aren’t always going to be smooth and perfect.  Allowing emotion to determine our response will more than likely serve to deteriorate things even more.  It doesn’t matter if it is a serious life and death world altering event or something as simple as stubbing your toe on the couch corner, how we manage our emotion will greatly impact and possibly determine what comes next and our perception of the world around us.  Emotion is wonderful and necessary at times, when appropriately applied and managed, but emotion makes a terrible master. 

There is a vivid example of this found in  “Wild Blue” by Stephen Ambrose.  It is about the B24 crews who ruled the skies over Europe during WWII.  What those men faced, endured and accomplished is staggering.  Something that struck me was the crew’s references to Lieutenant McGovern.  They had complete confidence in their pilot to get them to target and back.  Though an exceedingly capable and talented pilot, it wasn’t his skill that gave them unwavering confidence.  It was his even keeled nature, his ability to find neutral.  They said, no matter what was happening, what they were being hit with, when his voice came across the intercom it was even, neutral, without emotion, no different than if they were standing next to him back at headquarters.  Now it wasn’t that McGovern was unfeeling, unstressed, unafraid.  He wasn’t a robot.  He just choose to master his emotions rather than allow his emotions to master him.  Their lives depended on his focus and clarity of thought that emotion would distort.   

‘Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. ‘ 2 Peter 1:10-11

I know some angry people.  People, who no matter what the day or time, just seem to be angered easily over just about anything.  They have settled themselves into an emotional mindset that things are rotten, that’s how they are and so they react accordingly.  I feel so incredibly sorry for those folks.  They have allowed satan’s manipulation of their emotion to direct their course in life, to steal their joy.  Our temporal life is never going to be perfect, but the way we respond, find neutral, count it all joy, will determine what we put into and get out of it.  Have a blessed weekend.

‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. ‘ Colossians 3:15-17

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy

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