Why are we so set on just talking about practice??? Practicing healthy eating or activity or living…practicing heaven on earth…Why are we still talking about practice?
Allen Iverson thought the same thing in an interview a few years ago after missing a few practices. Here’s a brief clip from that press conference. Try to count the number of times he says “practice.”
How many times did you count?
As a noun practice is the actual application of an idea, belief or method instead of just theory; practice as a verb is to regularly perform an activity or exercise a skill in order to improve or maintain our proficiency in that skill. So why are we still talking about it?
Because it matters.
What A.I. failed to realize was that practice mattered to his team and his coach and it should have mattered to him. It didn’t because it wasn’t the real game. When the time came for the game, he would be ready, he would perform, he would excel, because after all this is the game he would “die for. What about his teammates or his coaches? How would they relate during the game if they didn’t practice together and learn each other’s language? One of the saddest parts of that clip is A.I’s last question, “How will I make someone else better by going to practice?”
In the church we believe that life is better lived together; we spur each other onward to be better; we encourage each other and hold each other accountable so that the love of Christ shines through in every way possible. We practice our life together so that we can become practicing people of love.
The sad reality is we love to talk about practice in theory but rarely ever in reality. Why? Because it’s not the “real game,” we’re just getting ready for heaven later; we can’t possibly expect to be holy here?!? Can we expect to conquer our lustful addictions to pornography or sex? Can we actually learn to control our appetites and train our bodies to use their full potential? Can we realistically expect to be freed from our anger or guilt ridden behavior?
We say a resounding YES!!! If we are willing to start practicing. When C.S. Lewis was calling us to true sexuality purity in Mere Christianity, he said “After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again…this process trains us in habits of the soul.” Maybe it’s time we stop believing in the impossibilities in life and start practicing a belief in the Creator of the Universe who chooses to work within us!
How do you need to pick yourself back up today? How can we help? Can we provide a team of encouragement or accountability? How is God training you in habits of the soul?
As a wise butler once said, “Why is it that we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”
How do we learn to pick ourselves up?