Volleyball is my sport. I have played since middle school and still continue to play on several rec leagues and man, I miss the every day practices that made me good at my craft of being a setter. Now that I only play once or twice a week, the ball doesn't always go exactly where I planned... Sometimes it's too far off the net, too tight, or I didn't get to the pass quick enough and the attempted set goes right in the net. I work my booty off to try to bring my skills back to where they were in my glory days, but being that we only play once or twice a week, the perfection of my skills can only go so far.
If you want to be able to ever-so-lightly touch the volleyball so that it comes off your fingertips with no-spin and is effortlessly placed at the perfect spot off the net, at just the right height, so that your hitter's hand can contact the ball at the top of their swing and follow through, slamming the ball into the ground destroying any possibility of the other team being able to dig the ball and create a new play... you can't just show up on the first game day and expect perfection to happen. You have to be in shape. You have to be super quick on your feet to get to every ball whether the pass is perfect or not. You have to have strong forearms so the set can be created with ease. You need to have strong legs to get low enough to dig a short ball, and to be able to jump high enough to block the other team's attempt to spike or to jump-set a pass that was way too tight to the net. And none of that happens overnight. If you want to be a prime athlete, you need to be prepared in season and out of season.
As a follower of Christ, my goal is to become more and more like Him everyday so that I might be a good representation of God's love and encourage others to get to know Him and be a part of what He is doing. But just like I can't be an amazing setter without much preparation and practice, I can't be a great representation of Christ without training. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." As practice, strengthening, and endurance are key factors in becoming a good volleyball player- the Word of God is crucial in training to be a woman of God who is equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy goes on to say in chapter 4 verse 2, "Preach the word: be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage-- with great patience, and careful instruction." I believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is God-breathed and is central to my growth, but just like I am only practicing volleyball in season right now, am I doing this too when it comes to the word?
How often am I studying the Bible only when I am really struggling, or when I am in a season of sadness or desperation? God's word says that if I am to going to be thoroughly equipped, I need to be prepared in season and out of season. Seeking the Bible only when I'm feeling weak or needing wisdom isn't going to do the trick. I need to be seeking His wisdom always- to be seeking correction, training, and teaching in all seasons.
What a great conviction that I need to really get to work on being a more disciplined reader of the Word (and I've just exposed the truth that I should practice volleyball more too ;). Guess it's time to get to work.