I ‘ve always enjoyed watching and coaching my children in sports – from the days of tee ball and biddy basketball at the YMCA to now playing for their school teams. It’s been a blessing to watch each of them play, laugh, celebrate, get mad, compete, and grow through sports.

Recently my son Wilson went to a baseball hitting coach to work on his batting. There were a lot of things Wilson was doing well, but there were also some parts in his swing that he needed to change. It was a frustrating process for Wilson. He was accustomed to swinging the bat his way and was being challenged to try to change part of what felt comfortable to him.

During one hitting lesson the coach told him there are two parts to learning. Half of learning is learning new habits, but the other half of learning is unlearning your old habits. And changing what you are accustomed to doing is an uncomfortable process, but in the end you will be better off for it.

This coach’s comment stuck with me. I thought this was a very interesting point but that it was very true to several aspects of life …… not just a baseball swing.

Most of us tend to live in a bubble. We fall into patterns and routines that are comfortable for us. Our tendency is to shy away from the challenges God may be presenting to us and create excuses for why we don’t need to do what is being called of us. It’s easy to feel inadequate and think there are others better suited to accomplish what needs to be done. God thinks otherwise. As evidenced throughout the Bible, God constantly uses ordinary people to accomplish His will.

But it’s not easy to step out in faith or take a risk for God. The good news is we never have to do it alone. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” God is always with us and, when we allow God to live and work through us, what we see as extraordinary challenges become ordinary.

During this season of Lent think about what God is calling or challenging you to do. Be willing to step out in faith, to be brave and confident that God is with you each and every step of the way. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 Isaiah 41:10.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we begin a new day, help us to engage your will with a reckless faith. Teach us to trust in you alone and help us grow in faith. We ask you to give us the courage to step out in faith this day and every day. Fill our hearts with your spirit and let us speak your words with pride and perform your work with confidence. We thank you and love you.

Kenneth Mims