Have you ever watched a boxing movie where the old cagey manager slurs, “Hey Rock, never fight a southpaw …. you’ll get confused by their fighting stance, and he’ll knock you on your fanny…. and kid, you got to practice, practice, practice… if you don’t, once you get bonked on the nose, you’ll revert to your old habits …. Thanks Mick, I’ll remember.” (Boxing Tidbit: most fighters are right handed and most revert to their natural stance when hit)
It’s amazing the breath of this BLOG…. we cover so much ground…. I’m even impressed…. from Moses to C.S. Lewis to Rocky. Well, is there a spiritual principle hidden in the boxing story… can we learn anything from Mick and Rocky? The answer is ABSOLUTELY MAYBE….. hmmmmmm.
At times the Lord tries to get my attention…. perhaps allowing me to fall on my face, be convicted of sin or a fault. Frequently, I will see the flaw and desire to change. For example, “Lord, I need to do better in these situations, I need to stop drawing attention to myself, I need to listen more, to seek to understand rather than be understood, etc., etc., etc. This conviction is a good thing and I will try to do better, and I may see some improvement. But like the boxer, if I’m not careful I’ll revert to my old stance. Out of the blue, I can find myself acting like the “Old Dave”.
To change a habit that has been with us for a long time, takes some serious work, some serious practice, and especially some serious prayer. We need real determination to change. I find that my new resolutions to change don’t always work perfectly. When I fall back into old habits, I realize that I need to “pray up more”. I know God wants me to love more…. how can I encourage the people I’m meeting? How can I show more interest in them? How can I remember to pray for them and their needs? How can I work to try and understand what they are saying, listening more closely. When I think and pray about how I should relate in a situation, I go in more prepared and tend to do better.
So, the point of this BLOG is that we need to prepare well as we go into new situations. Let’s ask the Lord to bless us and help us. Maybe we ask our spouse to pray with us if we’re going into a situation where we’ve had trouble in the past. If we do this, I believe we’ll see improvements in how we relate. And that is very good news.
For your homework, try hard to understand something your spouse or friend is trying to explain to you… stay with it until you’re able to say, “oh, I understand”…. and then notice the smile on their face.