The art of practice

Effective teachers and coaches insist that practicing is necessary in order to get better at any skill. And part of practicing is being willing to make changes in order to outgrow whatever hinders progress. The great characters of the Bible daily practiced following God, but there were significant moments when this daily practice led them to make changes, too. Moses, at first reluctant to lead the children of Israel, accepted this task (see Exodus 3 and 4). Elisha left his plowing to accompany Elijah and be mentored by him (see I Kings 19). The disciples who were fishermen left their fishing nets to follow Jesus (see Matthew 4). 

Recently, I had an experience that illustrated these points on practice and change. It was on the golf course. Golf is a relatively new activity for me, so I began by taking some elementary lessons and practicing—a lot! Little by little there was improvement, albeit slow and often frustrating. 

However, to get to the next level, it was suggested that I participate in some club competitions, one of which was an intra-club women’s championship. Well, this was exactly what I did not want to do! This was a testing time, and I had always found tournament play in other sports stressful. However, I felt strongly that the event needed support, and I agreed to enter. 

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