Monday, August 6, 2012

Consistency

One day, when I was in high school, I happened to be at the city park playing tennis at the same time the team from Lakeland Community College was practicing. Don Delaney, the coach, asked me to join him as he played against his doubles team. I played well. After one particularly brilliant shot, he asked what my plans were for college.


Don Delaney had seen me at my best. I was relaxed. I was playing well that day. But overall I was not a good tennis player. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, I do not think that I ever won a match in high school or college. My record was 0 and 18, or something like that.

An occasional brilliant shot does not make one a good player. An occasional mistake does not make one a bad player. Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times in his career.

What coaches seek is a consistently good approach to the game. Of course, every player fails occasionally. Of course, even a poor player does things right occasionally. But what we should seek is to do the best we can, as often as we can.

That is true in life as in sports. The best of us makes mistakes. The worst of us gets it right occasionally. But what is the consistency? Is it our habit to "walk in the light" or is our habit to try to do as little as possible or to hover around the darkness whenever we have the chance?

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that we save ourselves by consistency. The most consistently upright of us has no chance in the judgment, apart from Christ. We are all sinners. But the most consistently upright is honoring the Lord, while the fickle, the lukewarm, the occasional Christian is dishonoring him.