It was my mother who pushed from the time I had hands big enough to reach the keys
on the piano. “Practice makes perfect” is something most of us grow up with from the
earliest possible moment of our childhood. I, of course, hated the piano practice I was
forced to do. I didn’t want to let myself enjoy it so I made it as unpleasant as possible. It
was long, tedious, and down right frustrating. I wanted to be playing with friends instead
of learning chords and scales.
I wasn’t much of an athlete. I wasn’t fast enough for track. I wasn’t big enough or brave
enough for football. And I wasn’t tall enough for basketball. When I did try out for cross
country the only obstacle was my main competition at another Wichita high school, Jim
Ryun, only the fastest high school miler at the time. So I didn’t have much of a chance to
do anything but be a loyal participator/spectator.
It was only later in life that I figured out that competition in the sports arena wasn’t really
all that it was cracked up to be. But when I did find I had a small amount of talent on the
bowling lanes I felt I had to do whatever was necessary to excel and that meant practice.
I spent many Saturdays, while my kids were bowling in league competition, practicing.
Sometimes as many as 50 games a week. I am surprised my arm stayed attached to
the rest of my body. But it paid off.
In order to become proficient using the right techniques in the form of practice makes the
execution second nature. You won’t even have to think about doing it and doing it right.
Too often we get caught up in the doing and not enough emphasis is placed upon doing
We must exercise our spiritual minds and bodies with what is just, good and proper as
the focus of our practice. I pastored a small church in southwest Kansas for three years
and walking into my church as pastor in the fall of 1976 and finding that I was the only
one present who could play the piano made up for all those unpleasant, tedious and
down right frustrating hours of practice my mother insisted on when I was a kid. Had I not
been able to play the piano, however poorly, we would have had to sing acapella. True, I
really didn’t practice right back when my mother was cracking the whip, but as least now
I have learned the value of practicing. Maybe now that is why I am more focused than
ever on the exercise of practicing right in preparation for any and all physical as well as
|I Thess. 4:1
I Thess. 5:15-24