Welcome to July 11! It’s flying by way too quickly.
I spent last week with 17 girls at basketball camp. I lived in the college dorm just like the girls did. It’s not so bad–really. But, then again, I went on wilderness trek–twice–so I always compare things to that journey. Briefly, that’s a week climbing a huge mountain in Colorado with a huge backpack and very little food—with a group of teenagers. So anything short of a tent and hours of pouring rain and a slippery climb to a summit is good.
This picture is not from the past week, it’s just so stinking cute! Sadie will be a sophomore and a starting player on the team. Explains why I stayed in a dorm room with 17 girls–right?
Back to the story. The team won only one game out of thirteen. It could have been a bad week–except for their great coach encouraged them and kept their spirits up. He told them it’s all about progress and all he needed was to see them working hard and improving. He said winning would come later.
What a great life lesson! Reminds of this verse in Hebrews 12:1-3. This is in The Message–love the way it reads.
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Can you see the life lessons in this one verse? They will work on the basketball court or the tennis court or the LIFE court.
1. START! You can’t GO until you START. Someone once said the hardest part of running is putting on your shoes. Seriously, don’t like to run, but see the point. If you don’t put on your shoes, you won’t ever run.
2. SEE what you want to BE. If you want to be a good tennis player, you have to see yourself as one. I’m a decent tennis player, but when I started, I seriously thought NO ONE could be this bad. But, I visualized myself playing with a team and winning.(Thought about inserting of pic of me playing tennis here, but ain’t nobody need to see that!) If you want to be more and more like Jesus, you have to see yourself having those qualities.
3. STUDY how it’s done! No one improves without practice. It’s impossible. There’s not a singer, ball player, pianist, guitarist etc. alive who does not study their craft. In our effort to become like Jesus, we HAVE to know him. Know his ways. Know his attitudes, Know his actions. Study HIM! THEN, we can put His ways into practice.
4. SHOW perseverance! Be willing to persevere through hard times. My daddy used to say anything worth doing is worth doing right–not doing easy, but right. I try to work out at least three days a week. This is not easy. My muscles ache because–let’s face it–I’m getting old, but I know I have to endure some pain for some gain. True in life as well. Life is not easy. There’s heartache, shame, pain…but if we persevere through those hard times, we will grow in ways beyond our imagination.
5. Repeat the process. When I was little every shampoo commercial would say shampoo, rinse, repeat the process for best results. Over time they dropped that last phrase because it really wasn’t necessary, but in most things it is very necessary. Even God says it. Our life story, just like the life of an athlete will be one of start, see, study and persevere. Over and over. Until we reach our final destination–Heaven!
It’s the end of a week. I hope you accomplished all you set out to do this week. But if you didn’t, I hope you made progress. That’s all God wants-for us to make progress.
Have a super duper great weekend. Enjoy the warm weather. Maybe eat an ice cream cone.