On Twitter I follow a few accounts that post quotes from great coaches. They are usually inspirational and remind you that excuses are for chumps. There is also a common theme from most great coaches and that is, “Luck is fought for in practice.”
I am reading a book called, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by N.T. Wright. The premise of the book is to highlight how Christians develop biblical virtue. It’s a wonderfully challenging book that is helping me to more deeply understand the tension between grace and works.
This morning in the Scriptures I was reading Psalm 1 and the first two verses really hit me between the eyes.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Particularly, what jumped off the page was the last phrase, “…on his law he meditates day and night.” I immediately thought of what I’ve been reading in Wright’s book about how Christian character is hard fought. It’s not easy. It requires discipline and practice.
I was struck by how similar success in the Christian life, which is often called blessing, is to success in athletics. Both demand practice. Both require a discipline that many people are unwilling to undertake.
Chesterton says, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
I think this is right on the money. The blessed man finds his delight in the LORD and meditates on the Scriptures day and night. He’s always practicing, he’s always working on his game. It takes effort, consistency, and perseverance.
Surely to experience blessing is an act of grace, but it is also the result of a diligent pursuit of God.