Clear the Malfunction

One of the acronyms I will never forget from the Army is SPORTS.







When your weapon jams up, you apply SPORTS to clear the malfunction. Practice SPORTS enough times, and it becomes second nature. You won’t even forget it twenty years later.

Why do soldiers practice it so much? In the heat of battle, you need to make quick decisions. In a fire fight, the last thing you need is a malfunction. When your weapon system goes down, you can’t call a time-out to analyze the situation. You need to be able to get back up and running as quick as possible, and that is why you perform an automatic action that doesn’t require thought.

Let philosophy scrape off your own faults, rather than be a way to rail against the fault of others. –Seneca

The great thing about making the study of truth, better known as philosophy, a daily practice is that it becomes second nature. If it is always in your mind, you are less likely to falter. And when you do falter, when you have the malfunction, you are quick the resolve the error. You are able to scrape off your faults.

What are my issues? I have a few, but one has recently come to the forefront. I spend a lot of time working on my problems. Equally, I do my best not to worry about the faults of others. This may be ideal on an individual level, but it often leaves me with the tendency to mentally isolate from the rest of the world. In my youth, I was quick to make inaccurate assessments of others based on first impressions and a narrow world view. As I got older, I tried to be less judgmental. That is good, but to some degree I became less empathetic towards the problems and needs of others. This is a problem that I am working on. Can I really put myself in someone’s shoes? Can I understand their pain, what they are going through?

Today, I am going to continue identifying areas in my life that need improvement. I am going to work on fixing those. I am going to seek the truth and allow it to work its miracles on me in the scraping off of my imperfections. I am going to clear the malfunction.

Wisdom. Courage. Justice. Discipline. Faith. Hope. Love. The virtues that make us better people are calling. Who will heed the call?

This is the very perfection of man, to find out his own imperfections. –St. Augustine

The Skeleton Keys #1: Faith Plus Works

Faith 11/22/2019

When I was younger, I thought prayer was the skeleton key that would open up all the doors. In desperate times, I would pray. If I wanted something, I would pray. In those days, I believed that being a prayer warrior was the way to make it in life. Obviously it didn’t work. I was young and selfish and had no real communication with God.

As I got older, I learned that if I wanted something I had to work for it. As time went by, I began to work more and pray less. When I first entered the work force, it was much like the prayers of my youth. It was all selfish.

These days, the nature of my prayers have changed. I offer up prayers of gratitude. I pray for the well-being of others. Rarely do I pray for myself or the things I want. I even try not to get into desperate situations where divine intercession is the only option available. Granted, desperate situations do come up. And like most humans, I pray for mercy in those times.

The nature of my work has also changed over the years. It is no longer to finance my selfish pursuits. I have a family that depends on me. I work for them. Not only for our financial stability, but even in areas such as my writing. I used to write only for myself. Now, I write for my son. And as a blogger, my writing has gone beyond my friends and family. I now write for the world and for the good of those who wish to read it.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. –St. Augustine

The ultimate skeleton key to success in this life starts with praying as if everything depended on God.  You can be this person of faith! But it is not prayer alone, you have to work as if everything depended on you. You can be this person of action. As the apostle James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Imagine the possibilities when you can combine the two. Would there be any doors closed to you?