Instinct…

As a young athlete I recall those long hours of practice that keep me forever frustrated.  Why can’t we just play the games I repeated to my coach’s dismay?  The games are fun and I enjoy them, practice is boring.  Then the coach would have us field grounders over and over.  Grounders hit directly to me, some to the left and others to the right…the grounders kept coming.  Then the coach would give us situations to consider as we fielded the grounders.  Man on first, one out…bases loaded no outs…runner on second with two outs…Why man?  Why must we keep doing this?

The answer was the coach desired us to move to the next level of application.  He wanted us to play by instinct versus having to think through each situation as it unfolded.  What a great lesson he taught me, it’s a shame it took me decades to appreciate it.

Life is much like that.  Recently I was asked to listen to a presentation where the speaker challenged the audience to consider one’s character as the most vital part of their skill set.  He mentioned to this group of teachers that the message and the presentation have less to do with the outcome than the character of the presenter.  He further stated that the results would take care of themselves if the presenter challenged himself to excellence prior to the message.

I think what he was saying was that we each need to become the message before it is shared.  It’s not enough to have an understanding of the facts and details and a concise method of performance.  Too many people are spouting off opinions and theories without ever allowing themselves to become one with the message.

Anthony DeMello once said…”it is not what you do, it is what you are”.  I am slowing coming around to understanding this key thought.  We like the baseball player need to learn to live on instinct not on spur of the moment reaction.  The instinct we need to live by is love.  There is no substitute for that.

The good book says that if we don’t have love we are but a banging gong no matter what else we may accomplish.  I want the sound of my march through life to be a symphony of love and acceptance.  Maybe if we all became the loving creatures we were designed for, the music of our march might drown out all the gongs clanging in the background.

Just a thought.

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