By Allen Jones
I’ve been on a bit of a western kick lately, and that usually makes me think of my time in Deadwood, South Dakota being a gunslinger. Yep, you read that right, I was a gunslinger! (the scary fella in the picture is me!)
I dressed up as a cowboy everyday, walked the streets in character, talked to tourists, and got into a gunfight three times a day.
Pretty normal job to say the least.
Seriously though, It was so much fun, and I love the old west. Getting to dress up and be a gunfighter everyday was fantastic. I find myself still craving it sometimes. I just want to go and get into a gunfight!
I’ve actually grown up with guns my entire life, I’m very comfortable with guns, being a hunter and also collecting replica old west pieces. Of course, when I was a gunfighter we were using blanks.
During that summer, I mostly played the gunfighter who came out on top. I got to shoot the bad guys and live most of the time. Every now and then I got to be a robber and die on the streets of Deadwood. (That was always fun too)
Everyday I was shooting blanks in a fast draw situation and fake winning, and that starts to get into your head a little bit. I started to feel really confident with my pistol, and started thinking if I actually lived in the old west I could probably do pretty well for myself.
Well, after that summer, my father and myself went out shooting (with real bullets), and we brought our own replica 1873 Peacemakers, the classic revolver of the old west.
This was the first time I had shot a real bullet since Deadwood, and I was feeling awfully confident.
So I started trying to replicate fast draw scenarios (safely mind you, I wasn’t just whipping my gun around) and I couldn’t hit a thing! Time after time, I kept missing the rather large target. So eventually, I took my time and actually aimed the gun so I could hit something.
My dreams of being able to shoot like a real gunfighter came crashing down, and I realized it was all pretend. I was not nearly as good as I was pretending to be back in Deadwood.
In our Christian walk, it’s so important to make sure we’re not doing the same thing.
For example, to make sure that I’m not chatting on the radio, or writing this blog, day after day shooting spiritual blanks.
And once I’m away from the mike or computer, out living my life, that I’m disregarding God’s teachings and instructions for my life.
We need to make sure that we are spiritually prepared, spiritually loaded in God’s truth, not pretending to be something in the Lord that we’re not.
Jesus says in Matthew Ch 22 “ But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome, loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”
Christ is referring to the Pharisees in this passage, the ultimate hypocrites of Jesus’s day.
The perfect example of fake gunfighters using blanks, but when encountered with true spiritual problems, and true relationships, they just don’t hold up.
They were more focused on the act, the show, than actually living for God.
And it so very important that we take the same message to heart. That what we do in the name of the Lord isn’t for show.
That all the things that I say isn’t just to fill time on the radio or a blog. But that it’s the speakings of my heart from my focus on God.
I find that it’s so important to take quiet time in prayer. Time where God can talk to me, and I can truly soak in what he is putting on my heart. Then go and live it.
Not to simply say or write the words, but live with Christ always by my side, always thinking of the teachings of Christ, so I may know how to respond in any situation, in a manner that glorifies God.
It’s all about being spiritually ready, so when we encounter a real life situation, we don’t find that we’ve just been performing a show the entire time.