It is that time of year . . . baseball. I was never any good at sports and you might say that in every sport I played, I was the other team’s best player. We expect teams hold practices and we even expect those on the team to show up for practice. I am unaware of a high school football team that would allow players to miss every practice and still play in the game. Even in school, we reinforce things through practice. There are practices for the STAAR test and there is homework to practice new skills. We understand the importance of practice in so many things, but do we value it in our spiritual lives?
I have a hard time picking a favorite portion of Scripture, but I am often grounded by Psalm 1. The second verse tells of a man whose “delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law he meditates day and night.” Why would a person spend day and night meditating on Scripture? It is for the same reason that we spend time practicing other things in our lives. Often, we think of the Bible as a solution for our problems or a guide to help us make an important decision. If we were honest with ourselves, there are times we have reduced it to a toy like the Magic 8 Ball. When we have a problem we run to it, but this is not the way we are supposed to function. It is intended to be consumed through a steady, continual diet. We are to dedicate ourselves to “practicing” the spiritual discipline of reading Scripture.
If we continue reading the following verses, we find out why. We do it in order to be ready for what happens in life. In verse 3 we are given the image of a tree planted by water – a steady, continuous supply of water. It bears fruit in season and its leaves do not wither. In good or bad, it is ready for whatever is at hand. We meditate on Scripture because it is God’s plan for building us in faith and preparing us to be ready for what the game of life holds. This does not mean it is going to be easy or there will be no struggles. Ask a football player if being at practice takes away the struggle during the game. No. It prepares him for the game and how to handle what happens. I encourage you to spend some time reading your Bible today. You might even start by reading Psalm 1. Don’t wait until a problem arises. Start practicing today.