When I was a new believer God gave me a philosophical concept I call, “Maximum efficiency without trying.” It has served me well over the years. It even works on the spiritual level.
Maximum efficiency is easy to sell, who wouldn’t like to be able to operate at maximum efficiency? It’s found by bracketing. First you go too far one way, then you reverse directions and go too far the other way, then you make finer and finer corrections until you get it just right. The process is the same when you’re tuning a guitar, an engine, or a radio. When it’s just right it’s much more than just not too flat or too sharp, there’s a sweet spot; to a trained ear something special happens, it’s “in tune.”
It’s difficult to find maximum efficiency by trying to sneak up on it. You usually need to get a little radical to find what it takes to make your new sports car spin out, or how slow you can fly an airplane without stalling. Maximum efficiency is seldom found at full throttle, a motorcycle tends to go into a high speed wobble, and a runner won’t finish the marathon if he doesn’t pace himself. Golf pros say your best swing is at about eighty percent, and when you’re making the top crust for an apple pie you don’t try to get it just right, you make it a little large than you trim off the excess dough.
If you practice a lot (like every day, most of the day, since you were six years old, like Tiger Woods), and stay in tune on the physical plane you’ll be able to operate at maximum efficiency, but how in the world can we do this without trying?
First of all we need to separate the idea of trying from the concept of effort. Actually they are two different things. Trying is an internal attitude, effort may be either mental or physical, but effort is psychologically neutral. Only the person who is exerting the effort knows whether or not they are trying.
Two men digging a ditch may be exerting the same amount of effort, but one may be getting paid to do something he hates, and the other may be digging the foundation for his dream house, something he has been wanting to do for years. For one it’s a big ‘try,’ for the other it would be a much bigger ‘try’ to stop.
Have you ever tried to make someone love you? You probably drove them away in the process.
Imagine with me that you’re coaching a little league team that’s in the playoffs, they’re trying too hard to win, and beginning to blow it, so you give them a little pep talk that goes something like this; “Baseball is not a war it’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun. I want you to forget all about beating the Tigers. As long as you’re focused on beating the Tigers your mind is not on the ball, so just go out there and ‘play ball,’ you can play hard if you want, but just play ball.”
When you get it right you’re ‘in the flow,’ it’s like poetry in motion, and you are operating at maximum efficiency without trying. So how do you put this into practical use? It’s simple, just sit down right where you are and do nothing.
Nothing? Yes nothing, it’s not as easy as it sounds. At first you might find it relaxing, but after a while you’ll get bored and your butt will start to ache. Eventually you’ll have to go to the bathroom, then you find it’s a much bigger ‘try’ to sit there, than it is to get up and go to the bathroom. After hanging out in the bath room for a while you’ll probably remember something else you need to do. So then just go out and do it.
The next time you find yourself experiencing pain on any level, stop. Stop whatever you’re doing and ask yourself, “what am I ‘trying’ to do,” then stop doing it.
In other words take a break and re-group. For instance you might be working on a stubborn nut that’s hard to get to, and rusted in place. In your frustration you’ve probably stripped the head and are beating it with a hammer and chisel, your knuckles are bleeding and you’re losing your temper. If I walked up and asked you what you were doing, you would say, “I’m trying to get this blankidy blank nut off.” Then I might say, “ I have some penetrating oil in my car, lets squirt some on that nut and then go out and get something to eat.”
Spiritually many people try to get God to love them, by trying to stop sinning, and trying to be ‘good enough.’
My plan is to get into heaven ‘without trying.’