Thursday, January 26, 2012

Being Ryno-like

When I was little, my sports hero was Ryne Sandberg - the Ryno. A great second baseman. I wanted to be like him.

So - how would I become like him? Should I mimic his swing - look in the mirror and see if it looks like his? Buy the same sort of glove he uses? Maybe keep practicing that awesome play that he made or try to jump into the pose that was on my poster where he was in the air turning the double play?

Well... no. That wouldn't make me like Ryno.

You know what did (to a limited extent)? Lots and lots of fielding practice - a couple of hours a day fielding grounders that I had thrown off the wall and then thrown again (great for getting your release down). By taking batting practice, by hitting the ball over and over again.

Or in other words - to become Ryno-like, I didn't simply try to "be like Ryno" - rather, I strove to do the things he did, the drills that he did.


So - you want to be Christlike -- that doesn't come by trying to pose yourself like Christ. Rather this - focus upon your neighbor, serve them, love them - for that is what Christ did. Strive to do the will of the Father - what He has declared in His Word (and not what seems good, holy, and neat to you). And do this over and over and over. Those are the drills. Anything else is just play-acting and pretend - like the kid looking in the mirror who thinks he's Ryno but couldn't field a grounder to save his life...


So, why am I not a professional ball player right now? The thing I like to complain about the most is that when Dad got sent to Nebraska there just was no baseball out there -- the legion team I played on after my HS freshman year played 6 games. I had been good defensively at 3rd - my coach said my D was good enough, right then, to play at a small college. But skills atrophy if you don't keep them up.

But in reality -- I didn't grow into an athlete.

See, a kid can practice all he wants, but unless he grows up to be 6 foot 4 and not 5 2, probably not going to be a professional ballplayer. You have to be fed, you have to grow.

Athletes today are highly focused on diet and nutrition. If you want to grow as a Christian... the best way isn't to focus first on your drills, your acts of love and kindness... you need to eat properly - you need to be fed on Christ, receive His love and forgiveness.

Then the growth, which He is in charge of, well, He'll take care of that for you. Really, He will. You are His workmanship - really, you are. The good works you do, He's prepared them for you - you'll simply walk into them.

Make sure you are fed - then you may practice your faith well, get your jersey dirty... then be fed and be ready for the next day.

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