Swing The Sword
A Dangerous, Encouraging, & Comforting Mindset
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
Bilbo Baggins, Riddle of Strider
Your Mindset Is A Sword
Killing, protecting, defending, slashing, gutting, maiming, intimidating, comforting - It can accomplish some wild feats. But the sword is a tool which is only as useful as the one wielding it. In the hands of an unskilled user it is dangerous in all the wrong ways or flat out useless. In the hands of someone proficient in swordplay, a sword is dangerous to their enemies, encouraging to their teammates, and a comfort to their allies.
In order to become proficient, the sword can’t stay in its scabbard. It needs to be unsheathed. You need to Swing The Sword. You need to actively train with it. You not only need to be active, you need to be active in a proficient Way. Consider this Substack your new dojo or “place of The Way.”
Whether you consider yourself intelligent or dumb, creative or analytical, detail-oriented or big picture, your mind is a powerful tool. No matter what gifts, talents, or abilities you have, your mind has the power to destroy, comfort, and encourage - the effectiveness is determined by what or who is on the receiving end of these powers. The purpose of this dojo is to help you hone your mindset in a healthy way, to help you consider the relationship between your mindset, the world, and people around you.
Dangerous To Your Enemies
“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” - Old Man, The Legend of Zelda
The only reason to carry a sword is because there are enemies nearby. Life is full of challenges and trials as well as ideas which pose as opposition to the goals and dreams we have. Correctly identifying our enemies, developing a healthy respect for them, creating a plan to defeat them, and then executing the plan are all ways to Swing The Sword. To slay the giants and monsters, we have to become dangerous with our weapons. To be people who accomplish great feats despite immense opposition, we have to have a mindset that is dangerous towards that which would otherwise stop us.
Encouraging To Your Teammates
We aren’t in this fight alone. You have teammates. Family, friends, & colleagues often have the same goals as us so we would consider them on our team. They are actively helping us fight on towards victory… But sometimes we swing our sword AT them. We become dangerous to our teammates. Usually it’s not intentional, we just don’t have our mindset under deft control. Sometimes, though, it is intentional because we mistake them for our enemies.
A healthy mindset is one that correctly identifies and encourages our teammates. We will them on by fighting fiercely beside them, letting them know that we will make it through because we’ve got their back and believe that they’ve got ours. When we Swing The Sword with accuracy and precision, we light a fire in the people around us that inspires them. Inspired and encouraged teammates can make even the most formidable goal achievable.
Comfort To Your Allies
“Whoever is not against us, is for us.” - Jesus, Mark 9
In life there are people you will meet that may not have a direct stake in your goals, but they are in your life nonetheless. You may consider them a neutral party or you may not consider them at all. A healthy mindset intentionally makes these people allies by becoming a comfort to them. A healthy mindset never creates enemies out of neutral parties, but turns neutral parties into allies that want to help us towards our goals.
For example, in a basketball game there are two enemy teams facing each other and one group of officials that starts the game neutral (or at least should). Although the officials start the game with a neutral disposition, how they are treated during the game can quickly turn them into enemies or allies. The goal for my team should be to make them our allies by being a comfort to them. No dirty looks, no complaining. Only ask for clarification outside of the heat of the moment. This takes discipline and patience, both of which only come from a healthy mindset. When my team does this more calls go our way and, more importantly, less calls go against us. We don’t create enemies out of the officials by swinging the sword at them.
The enemy of your enemy is your friend. If the enemy starts swinging the sword at the neutral party, you can bet on creating alliances with those you’ve comforted. A healthy ally mindset is critical to not creating more problems than you already have and may even result in getting helpful boosts when you need them.
What To Expect
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” - Hebrews 4
Swing The Sword will be a conglomeration of weekly teachings, meditations, and musings on a plethora of topics that I hope will inspire you. No matter the topic, my goal will be to help you view the world in a healthy way aligning with Scripture - the ultimate Sword. In turn, I believe that you will learn principles, virtues, and truths that will help you Swing The Sword in a dangerous, encouraging, and comforting way. Your mind is a powerful weapon and I’d love to spar with you.
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