Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.–Mark 1:35
“Thank you, sir.” Square feet and shoulders . . . dribble, dribble . . . spin . . . dribble . . . spin . . . bend knees . . . shoot. That is my routine for shooting a free throw. Early in my career my coaches instilled a need for routine whenever our team stood at the line. A routine mentally prepares us for the task ahead. Free throws can come at any point in a game with varying degrees of pressure. I can still feel the pressure after missing a shot—people either let out a sigh of relief or disappointment.
Many players struggle with free throws. They either undervalue their importance or have not received proper instruction. Many players knockdown shot after shot in an empty gym, but in a packed house become cold. Any player can fail to make the connection when pressure is on their shoulders. Having a routine helps a player connect hours of practice to the shots in a game.
When my faith was new I struggled to read God’s Word and pray daily. Without spiritual nourishment I wasn’t prepared to face temptation and couldn’t understand my shortcomings when the pressure was on. Finally, I decided to carve out a specific time each day to read and pray. Now, no matter if my situation is good or bad, I use my quiet time to refocus and remember what is important. This daily routine has turned sighs of disappointment into sighs of relief.
1. How do you perform when the pressure is on?
2. Do you prepare yourself daily through Scripture and prayer?
3. What time of the day is best for you to start a routine?
Extra Reading: Proverbs 8:34; Matthew 6:11; Mark 14:38; Luke 9:23
Lord, forgive me for “fitting” You into my life when convenient. Help me to be disciplined in daily study and prayer. Hold me accountable to be consistent in my time spent with You. I love You and thank You. Amen.