Getting Ahead: The Natural Thing


Many times I have heard: “they are a natural at it.” When we use that phrase we are saying that something or someone has a natural, God-given ability to do a certain thing.

A duck will naturally take to water and a bird will take to the air. They were created to do just that. In human beings, however, when I hear that we are a natural at something, I question it.

A professional athlete or musician has to spend a great deal of their time practicing to be exceptional and appear to be a natural at it. A doctor must spend many years being educated in the medical profession and then they must continue to work at new procedures and breakthroughs to stay current.

It seems to me that our natural abilities are things like being able to eat, breathe, and walk upright. There is another thing in us that is as natural as breathing and that is the ability to make choices in matters pertaining to our lives. There are few people who cannot eat, breathe on their own, or walk upright and there are a few who do not have the mental capacity to choose, but almost all of us do.

The problem, I perceive, is that none of us seem to have the natural ability to choose the right things. From the time we are born, we seem to just naturally do the wrong thing. It is natural for a child to tell a lie or do things that will harm them. It is as if we do the right thing and make the right choices, not naturally, but as a result of the consequences we suffer if we do the wrong thing. It follows then, if we are going to make the right choices and do what is right, we must overcome the natural thing that was born in us.

Would doing the right thing become natural if we practiced like an athlete or musician at doing it? Is there a course of study we could use, such as a doctor uses to get educated, that would enable us to make the right choices? Do you think that we must learn and practice like an athlete or musician at doing the right thing in order to do it? Is there anything that can enable us to make the right thing the natural thing we do?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 West Court Street.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist

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