Jed Clampett…


(If you came from my Facebook page for the rest of the story, scroll down to “The Rest of the Story” below)

I thought about Jed Clampett this morning.  Now, someone may ask, what does Jed Clampett have to do with a picture of oil fields?  Some of you may remember the story line behind the popular 1960’s TV series, The Beverly Hillbillies, and have an idea where I’m going here.

Think about this for a moment.  The character we came to know as Jed Clampett lived for years in the backwoods of perhaps Kentucky or Tennessee.  The story line never really gave much detail about his background so I’ll admit I’m adlibbing a bit here.

Jed lived for years within a certain reality because he was unaware of what laid just beyond his sight.  As the lyrics go, he was:

A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,

And then one day he was shootin at some food,

And up through the ground come a bubblin crude.

We were to assume that Jed and his family lived a very simple life and the family struggled to get by, while the entire time, there were untapped resources (oil) right under his feet.  Jed’s life changed in a heartbeat because he was in the right place at the right time…yet there’s so much more to the story.  He had to literally pull the trigger when he was in the right place at the right time!  Anyone who grew up watching that goofy show knows that everything changed in that moment Jed pulled the trigger.

To use a basketball metaphor here, a player can be in the right place at the right time, but if he fails to take the shot either because of fear of failure or a belief someone else is more qualified, he risks missing out on being the hero of the game.  So being in the right place at the right time is only a part of the equation.  We have to have the courage to “pull the trigger”…to take the shot.

This “Jed Clampett” metaphor came bubblin’ to the top (so to speak) earlier today when I was in a conversation at work talking about the concept of “Story” and how it relates to our lives.  I won’t elaborate too much here other than to say the focus was about the lives (stories) of the people I supervise on probation.  Incredible stories…with chapters yet to be written!  So many of my guys are damaged by hopelessness and in chains to addictions and destructive cycles…they have no clue about the resources that are so near to them… They have no idea how future chapters of their lives could read…

But what about you and me?  What resources lie just beyond our sight…our comprehension?  Resources, that if discovered…if tapped into, will radically change what “normal” looks like in our own lives?  Well we wait and hope we’re in the right place at the right time…..and will we count on the hope that we will pull the trigger when we ARE at the right place, at the right time?

The Rest of the Story:

I can share the above metaphor with any unbeliever in my office and we can get a warm-fuzzy feeling inside about the creative potential of the human race.  There’s a problem to this thinking though…

Jesus says very clearly to his followers that, “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I remain in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Quite a contrast there…with Jesus we bear much fruit…apart from Jesus we can do nothing.  I don’t know about you, but I want to hear more about the “bear much fruit” version of what my life could look like…

Who in their right minds would rather do little with their lives, when they were created for greatness…to reflect the glory of the living God?  We are made in the image of the Living God, and as an image bearer, we have creative qualities wired into us…in the area of music, writing, painting, developing, building…on and on…  There are untapped resources just beyond our reality…and it’s God’s desire to partner with us to bring our lives to the fullest expression of Jesus Christ, for His glory…and our delight in the process!

Not only do I think of the Will’s, the Jeff’s, and all the other guys who have crossed my path through probation…but I think of my family and my friends…and I wonder to myself:

exactly what are you capable of becoming…

if you are in the right place…

at the right time…

led by the Spirit of God?

And in that moment of time, what if you have the courage to believe:

…God is who He says He is…

…and you are who He says you are…

…and you pull the trigger???


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