by James Todd
One of my coaches once taught me something that has been engraved in me ever since: Practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. So practice making your practice perfect. In other words, challenge the way you think, the way you behave, and everything around you. Act 17:11 states, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” When you change the way you think, you will change the way you view things, but we must be open to new interpretations. First Corinthians 13:12 reminds us, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.” Our culture and our way of living is making us view things the way the enemy wants us to view them. We must rely on God and His Word to guide us through the fog, just as we have faith when driving in a fog that we will make it home though we cannot see beyond our headlights.
We must realize that in order to reach our full potential we must get outside of our comfort zone. No one ever did anything great being comfortable. So learn to be comfortable in an uncomfortable setting. The more comfort and success you have, the less you need God. People will do anything to avoid pain and conflict, but pain and conflict are the only things that can strengthen us. James says we’re to consider it pure joy when we go through trials. I have been a personal trainer for three years now, and I can tell you the people who get results are the people who step outside their comfort zones and seek challenges on a daily basis. In ancient Israel, they would have a daily sacrifices at the temple, one in the morning and one in the evening. How often do we sacrifice to God? It does not have to be animal sacrifices, it can be as simple as making time to pray and read His Word daily. It can be taking time to listen to someone, to help someone, or to show kindness to an enemy. How often do we pass our days selfishly thinking only a few more hours till I get to go home, or only a couple of more days till I get to do what I want on the weekend. I have found through my relationships with others that we all desire more in life, yet we settle for comfortable. Most of us go through life never working on our passion or our dreams. Perhaps we think it is enough to go to school, get a job, start a family, and then die. Each one of us has been lied to; we’ve all had “cheap grace” preached to us; we have all been told that life is about our careers and our money. We let the world get in the way of who we truly are!
In the words of Rocky Balboa: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you’re hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” (from Rocky Balboa, 2006).
“What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later” (Romans 8:18).