I was just about to ask you if you’d ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors. I realized half a second later it was a bad question.

With the assumption that you’ve played at least a round, let’s talk. Because I’m reading this book my really cool boss loaned me, and there’s an idea floating on the pages… or maybe just mostly in my head. Either case, you know the game. There is the rock, which trumps the scissors, and the scissors which trumps the paper. And then there is the paper which somehow trumps the rock? I’d vote the paper off the island… that rule just barely makes sense to me. Hang in until we get to the end of this post because after all, it wouldn’t be Rock Paper Scissors if we took out the Paper.

So about this book. It’s called The Geography of Bliss. And I won’t even make this next part up on my own but, the man is grumpy. Really grumpy. In fact the tag-line for the book is this, “One Grumps Search for the Happiest Places in the World”. See, told ya so. He’s a grump.

And although he’s quite the Debbie Downer, he has both fascinating, and logical truths which I’m proudly taking away from the book. The rest, I’ll leave for him to deal with {Eric Weiner, you won’t find happiness is a place… it comes in the form of a person. His name is Jesus Christ, look it up & then write me. I’m stoked to know how you feel when you encounter Him this lifetime}.

But here’s the thing. He {Eric the writer} has taken himself to ten countries to see if any of them will make him happy, or that may have the solution to everlasting happiness. Kind of like Tuck Everlasting. And at this stage of my reading game, he’s in Bhutan and is learning about the Divine Madman, Drukpa Kunley, who is a holy man like none other. Apparently some kind of representation of a holy Howard Stern…? Anyhow, the moral of this Madman’s story is this: “We cannot judge by action, only by motivation”. Brilliant.

Words are paper.

Action is scissors.

Motivation is Rock.  You with me?

Words are fine as filler, but don’t they become just that a majority of the time? Aren’t they just filler, hoping to take out the more substance-filled, potential verbs of life? Of course words are necessary in life and do good, just as paper is necessary in the game and also win some times. Sometimes, we just cannot bear to hear someone say they care one more time when it is obvious they certainly do not. But sometimes, all it takes is a simple “Oh friend, I’m right here for you”, and that is all we need. Sometimes words win.

Then we get to the action, like scissors. Oh action is amazing, action is good in every way. Action feeds the poor and holds the orphaned. Action is wheels and gets the job done… Action takes those words off of our tongue and cuts up those fillers in the words that we speak. That our words might become few, and our action could show what our words simply won’t.

But if your motivation is filled with self-seeking, self-righteous desires, than action fails. And if the motivation of our hearts, or our actions aren’t pure, good, selfless, and hope-filled for the sake of others, than we don’t understand. Action is only as good as the motivation that lies behind it. Think about all those cool organizations that fail because the guy in the Chair decided he actually wanted the money for himself rather than those deserving babies. Or the woman who raises up other single ladies to honor God above all things, but secretly just hopes for men to notice her kind deeds, pick her, and sweep her off her feet and away from the world. The motivation of their hearts, though they may have even begun pure, are no longer for the glory and sake of the Kingdom of Christ. And when the motivation of our hearts are pure, selfless, and honoring to those involved, it also trumps action! How beautiful is it to stand before someone’s life and know the motivation of their heart!

Rock trumps Scissors, like Motivation trumps Action. Action like scissors, trumps words like paper. Though they all work together and will forever coexist {no, we can’t actually kick words off the island}, I’d bother you just to think who is trumping whom in this game called Life?

Just one more thing- have you ever considered paper {words} trumping rock {motivation} and the potential damage that could do? Let’s not be all words people, we’re suffocating the motivation with all this talk. Motivation which calls us deeply, purely into action, setting up our words for truth and sustainability. Besides, any real winner of this game knows, it is the strategic planning of using each the rock, the paper the scissors. The motivation, the action, the words.

Okay, and now I’m ready to play a round: Rock, Paper, Scissors?