A couple of weeks ago I decided to spend a week of blissful twolitude (I made up that word for when Sara and I have solitude together :) at our "cabin in the woods". I have a little Honda Generator for power, but had never used it in winter conditions.
On day two at minus friggin' twenty, I decided to fire it up so we could fry some bacon and eggs on an electrical griddle (a very good thing). I pulled the starter cord and nada, no enchilada, she's dead. It's like Hans Solo making the jump to hyperspace with a broken hyper driver. So I turned the choke on and pull again. Dead. No power. Turned it off and pulled again. Still nothing. Five minutes later, and with some severe Tennis Elbow setting in, I finally quit and we fired up the propane stove instead. I would not be denied a greasy breakfast!
The next evening I figured I’d give it another go so we could have a little light (it’s dark around 4pm up here in the north). This time I knew my elbow could only handle a few pulls, so I gave it one good try and again, nothing but a super stiff crank (it was even colder). I then waited for about five seconds and pulled again. Waited another five seconds and pulled again, and viola, that little engine started right up. Thereafter I followed the same sequence and never had another issue. I thought, "Man, I need to write that hack down for anyone else that might find themselves at the cabin and in a similar scenario: pull three times, five seconds apart, and you're good everytime. I'd discovered a "better way".
There’s a lesson: in almost every aspect of your life there is a hack, or you could say, a better way of doing things that’s more efficient, more powerful, and produces better results. This is literally a law of the universe. There are secret recipes, wild hacks, tricks, revolutionary methods, and unknown pathways. And they’re all just waiting for you to make the discovery.
Take this seriously.
This is a significant reason why I wrote Boondock Church - Small Town, Massive Potential. I watch pastors pull and pull and pull, trying to get their little church to fire in -20, with 20 bucks in the bank and 20 poor souls sitting in the pews on Sunday. And they burn out, lose heart, and eventually quit with a spiritual version of Tennis Elbow leaving them gimpy for the rest of their lives.
So there are ways to make the small-town church fire - our story at Evangel is proof positive. Here’s a few hacks: one, make your first hire a children’s pastor instead of a youth pastor or what have you. Two, get the bass guitar and drummer working together and bam - music goes to a new level. And three, keep it real and on track by doing all your preaching from a place of being personally led by Jesus. Read your Bible for yourself. Study for yourself. Listen to Jesus for yourself. Live into your own story and preach from that - best material ever. Be like Paul and tell people to follow you as you follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Another example. When next you paint a room in your house, grab the fluffiest roller you can get your hands on and use good paint. No streaks. No hassle. Done like a pro.
Another example. When replacing an oil filter on your car that’s stuck on tight, drive a screwdriver through it and turn (drain oil first). I know this isn't really kosher, but works like a charm.
Another example. If you’re married…there are secrets to sexual enjoyment that you have not heard of before. Trust me in this. As it is written “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). It’s good news :). Experiment and explore. If you're stuck inside Hollywood's schleppy vision of married sex, more here.
Another example. When hunting elk or moose, look for good areas within 15–20 minutes drive from town (lol, suggest you definitely drive further if you're in Edmonton). Everyone else is driving for a couple hours before they even think of getting out of the truck. Last year Jimmy and I bagged a bull just a few minutes out of town and packed it home in my mini-van.
Enough said. You have your own stories of brilliant little “tricks of the trade”. Maybe post one or two here (keep em’ kid-friendly).
But more than that, know without a doubt that there are secrets yet to be discovered in almost every area of your life.
Take up the mind of an explorer, ask lots of questions, never be content, and hack your way to a better life.
Photo Credit: Matthew Sleeper