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Homeruns, Slam Dunks, and Other Unexciting Things

By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted July 9, 2006
Edgefielddaily.com columnist

We are a nation of excitement junkies. We love the big plays. We love to push the envelope past the point of reason and brag about surviving. Watch the evening sports round-up shows and you will eventually get to the “Top Plays of the Day.” We then have paraded in front of us an array of homeruns, slam dunks, holes-in-one, and last minute game winning catches. All are accompanied by a thunderous ovation provided by crazed and excited fans.

I personally love a homerun, an incredible slam dunk, an amazing hole-in-one, and a remarkable sliding catch to save the game. I’m one of those crazed fans who jump up in the middle of my den and scream at the television during a game. What we don’t think about at that moment is all the work that went into being able to do what we just witnessed. All the early morning practices when it was just the athlete and a quiet gym or empty stadium. The numerous after practice practices that went late into the night with a lone athlete trying to figure out a swing or perfect a move. There are no fans or cameras present at these moments. Just hard work and a love for what they are doing that drives them to be the best they can be.

If there are no quiet moments, the big plays just don’t happen. If we don’t love what we are doing enough to perfect the skills, we won’t even make it into the game and have the opportunity to make the big plays. People often wonder why they tend to drop the ball spiritually when the tough times happen. Or why they tend to drift away when things are going great. The same thing is true in our spiritual lives—if we don’t have the quiet moments and a love for what God is in us, then the big plays aren’t made and bench gets awfully hard.

Throughout the Bible we read about big plays; Moses and the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14); Elijah and the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18); David’s defeat of Goliath (I Samuel 17); Jesus’ victory on the cross. But what we tend to neglect seeing are the times these individuals spent being prepared for the big game. Moses spent years as a shepherd working for his father-in-law, Jethro, before being called to shepherd the children of Israel. David spent countless hours practicing his slingshot skills on animals seeking to kill his sheep before he ran toward the giant. And yes, we read where Jesus spent time alone with the Father away from the demanding crowds and performance of miracles.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.  Matthew 14: 22-23.

There you have it. Jesus is alone on a mountain with the Father in prayer. Not exactly a big play event—or is it? One of the most valuable lessons we can learn is to spend quiet time with the Lord. Your reply to that is, “What quiet time!?”  We make time for what we feel is important. Winning the big game comes to those who spend time practicing and being trained. The Lord wants to grow your relationship with Him but it takes time and a desire on our part. Practice faith; train your daily walk with Him; pray for coach to help you get better at the spiritual side of life.

Remember, the big game events in life will come whether you are prepared or not. Having a relationship with Christ doesn’t mean we are shielded from life. We are given the opportunity to prepare for life by taking advantage of the honor of being able to spend quiet time with the Lord. These “practice and training sessions” will do wonders for how we manage this game called life. Who knows, you may just see your “homerun or big catch” on His plays of the week. A great practice session happens each Sunday morning at your local church. Try attending practice this week.

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