Saturday, September 25, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for awhile; but it’s a very crucial time of the year for me. It’s FOOTBALL SEASON!! Mainly I haven’t had anything to say lately. God has blessed me to be able to get some things out of my system through this medium and it has definitely been therapeutic for me. But after watching the first two weeks of the season I had a thought and I wanted to share it with you. Many football fans watched with great interest to see if two phenomenal players would play this year. Darelle Rivas of the New York Jets held out almost the entire training camp because he wanted a new contract. And Brett Farve of the Minnesota Vikings waited until the end of camp to decide whether or not he wanted to come back for a 20th season. Both men were highly desired for by their respective teams and both men eventually reported to camp. Revis got his deal; and Farve decided that he did want to play after all.

During each ordeal I listened to talk radio as the “experts” discussed why it was important to get both players to camp as soon as possible. They basically said that it was important not to miss training camp because training camp was the time to get into football shape. Being in football shape is different than just being in great shape. For a defensive player like Rivas, you have to get used to running and cutting and hitting people and being hit. For an offensive quarterback like Farve, you have to get your footwork and your timing down in order to throw the ball efficiently to your receivers. The radio pundits expressed concern that both players would have issues due to missing so many days of camp. And after the second week of the season, it would appear that they were correct. Darelle Rivas pulled his hamstring during the Jets’ game last Sunday. The injury is not too serious, but it might cause him to miss a couple of games. Brett Farve’s Vikings are 0-2 this year and he admitted after the game that his timing was off. He also said that it would take some time to gel with his receivers. The pundits say that both situations could have been avoided if the men would have been at training camp the entire time. They said that the time spent at practice would have made the difference in both situations.

How can that be a lesson to us? Let’s look at our life as our football season. And just like a football season, our life goes through ups and downs, successes and failures, good times and bad times. The way that we react to life when it happens depends on what we have done to prepare ourselves for the situation before it occurs. What do you do when a crisis occurs? Do you depend on God? Or do you depend on yourself? How would you know what to do in said crisis if you haven’t practiced what to do when the crisis is upon you? As Christians, we should be prepared for the ups and downs of life because we have a proper action plan. And that action plan is through prayer.

Prayer is simply talking to God about what’s going on in our lives. It is also listening to hear God’s voice as He responds to our prayer. We need to pray to God every day; especially during the good times. This allows us to hear God so that He can guide us in our daily lives. Praying to God even when nothing is wrong strengthens our relationship with God. He begins to recognize our voice and our relationship with Him grows stronger. Then when the crisis occurs, we don’t have any problem with trusting in God or wondering if He hears our prayer. We will have already established a relationship and our prayer can consist of asking for advice or wisdom as opposed to saying, “I hope you’re listening up there”. God wants us to depend on Him for everything and He wants to help us through our difficult circumstances. So when we build up our prayer life, it’s very much like going through training camp with God. We learn to gel with God as we get ourselves in spiritual shape. And the better shape we are in, the better we can perform and allow God to perform in our lives.

So how do you pray? Jesus used the Lord's Prayer as a guideline for those who desired to pray properly. It is the perfect example of the ideal prayer. It includes praise to God for being our Heavenly Father, it includes confession of our sins, and it asks God to provide some things in our lives. If you have never prayed before or just want to start over with a good guideline; this is the way to go. You can also check out Breaking Down the Lord's Prayer and Let's Break Down the Lord's Prayer for more information. So get to work and practice well. It’s almost Game time!

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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