When I was young, I loved playing softball. I was involved in lots of sports, but softball was my favorite. In fact, my goal as a young person was to be on the Olympic softball team, but how God changed my heart is another story.
About midway through my high school years, we got a new coach. Coach Watson was what we call, “old school,” and he spent hours teaching us the basic fundamentals of softball: throwing, catching, batting, and even running. Many of us were already sort of set in our ways, and there was some resistance to his instruction. Still, he took us back to basics, and we learned how to operate as a team.
Though I’m sure he didn’t try to, he taught us things about life. “Be a good example,” he told us, “you never know who’s watching. Walk tall – it unnerves the opponent.” But the one that really sticks in my mind is the one I am often telling my kids:
“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect!”
And with that, we would go back to the drills – throwing, catching, and batting.
For us, it is so true that practice makes permenent; perfect practice makes perfect! If we’ve been saying discouraging things, we need to stop saying them, and replace them with better, more encouraging things. For example:
Instead of saying, “If only I had a such and such, then I could do what God wants me to do.”
Instead say,“Lord, I’ll do whatever You want, You just meet my needs!”
Don’t say, “I doubt good can come of this,”
but insead say, “God can make this trial a blessing!”
Don’t say, “I just don’t have the time to spend time with my children,”
but instead say: “The Lord will help me to MAKE the time to be with my kids.”
Don’t say, “I’m afraid such and such will happen!”
say: “I know God will work it out!”
Drill, drill, drill. It seems like that was all we did that first year he was coaching. We learned how to make a double play, how to slide into base, and how to steal bases. With all the drill, we learned teamwork. And that year we did very well in the end-of-year competition.
But the next year, we came back and drilled again. This time we were a real unit, and knew our stuff. And we walked tall…Coach Watkins was right – it DID unnerve our opponents! By the time playoffs were over, we had earned the second place trophy for the entire district!
Perfect practice makes perfect. Coach Watkins would be proud.