Have you ever noticed how disappointing it is when someone who has experienced a radical physical transformation for the better is asked about the method that led them to their drastic change, and their answer is along the lines of, “I ate less and I exercised more?” Why are we let down with this kind of response? Is it possible that we are looking for an innovative or unique or painless solution to our own personal dilemmas?
How did you get so smart, Mr. Einstein? Well, thank you for asking. The wonderful folks at Tesla implanted my brain with Neuralink, a fantastic new learning chip that enables me to access to any information on Google, on demand. It’s been very instrumental in helping me develop a theory I’m working on regarding space-time.
Before we traverse off-course and begin to talk about giftedness, genetic lotteries, or raw talent, let’s remember an age-old maxim once quoted by the great Arnold Palmer: “The more I practice, the luckier I get." The bottom line is that Michael Jordan may have been one of the most gifted basketball players to ever step on the court, but his competitive drive, relentless work ethic, and fundamental understanding of the game is what vastly separated him from his peers. Mozart developed his gift in complete obscurity for nearly 14 years before exploding on the scene. I’m not even writing about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours here. I want to talk about a commitment to fundamentals. I’m sure Tiger has practiced more 20-foot putts than most people will ever take, but he’s practiced more three-footers than 20-footers. Why? Certain fundamentals win you the game on a consistent basis.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
That sounds so boring. That’s what I was supposed to do yesterday, and the day before, and the year before that.
During a crisis, it becomes easy to search for some metaphysical answer in order to frame our suffering, or some huge encouraging life event to validate our pain. This human propensity for meaning is precisely the reason that we are encouraged to continue doing good even when we are tempted to let ourselves get tired. Just keep doing what is right? Are you saying this is the solution for what we are all going through right now? Is anyone foolish enough to say it’s not? Sayings like, “You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you respond to what happens to you,” are abundant, but they are actually true. You can control how much you allow yourself to live a life that honors God. That has nothing to do with talent, pedigree, position, your freedom, or your bank account. It has to do with your heart.
This Sunday at City of Life Church I am continuing my series called Orchard: How To Cultivate Spiritual Growth. I won’t be discussing diet pills, Bowflex, flying cars, or alkaline water, but I would love to invite you to join us as we dig in to this idea of allowing our lives to become fertile ground for the development of foundational, fundamental agents of good, all for God’s glory. There is a payoff. We will reap a harvest if we don’t give up. I hope to see you online Sunday.
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