Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people in the world:Golfers will seek lessons in the game but what about in life?Those who love golf and those who hate it. If you are in the latter camp, you probably agree with Mark Twain's assessment that "golf is a good walk spoiled."But no matter which side you're on, golf has some practical lessons that can help us in our spiritual lives. (I know, that may sound crazy, but stick with me for just a minute and I'll explain.)You could hit the ball around the golf course with some friends once a year and have fun (or be completely frustrated!). But, like most sports, increasing your skill level in golf requires deliberate practice. Notice there that I said "deliberate" practice.We need deliberate practice.Being deliberate is important. Here's why. One of my sons is a golf pro. Let's say a beginning golfer comes to my son and demonstrates her swing. He notices that she is slicing the ball every time she hits the ball because she's lifting her head up. If she continues to practice in this way without making the necessary adjustments to correct her swing, then she'll build muscle memory that will ingrain this bad habit. And she'll never improve her swing. Her experience on the golf course will always be frustrating as she continues to hit the ball off target.However, by making the necessary tweaks to her stance, grip, follow-through, etc. my son is able to show her how to fix her swing so she can hit the ball properly. When she puts all those pieces together and then deliberately practices them, she gets better results - more power, better accuracy.Practicing the wrong things doesn't help.It just ingrains faulty skills. But once the golfer know the right way and deliberately practices the right things, she can improve. And that improvement makes her experience of golfing much more enjoyable than looking for her ball in the rough.So, how does this apply to our spiritual lives?If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or burnt out, there's likely something going on in your soul that is out of whack. Perhaps you are living what I call the High Octane Life. You feel constantly distracted and you're always moving in fifth gear. To find out more about the symptoms of the High Octane Life, watch this video where I describe the effects of this out-of-control lifestyle.Recognizing the negative impact of the High Octane Life is one thing, but understanding what to do about it is another. We need practices that will help us deal with the effects of the High Octane Life. But we need the right practices.[tweetthis]For many of us, it's been ingrained to just pray more, to go to church more, to serve more, or to join another Bible study. The list of doing more in our Christian lives seems to go on and on.[/tweetthis] And while all those things are good things in and of themselves, these may be the wrong practices for you right now.Notice that I'm not saying these are bad practices. But adding more of these practices probably isn't going to help you make the necessary adjustments to your life. (Remember our golf analogy - practicing the wrong things doesn't help.)If you are wondering why you are constantly running on empty and not experiencing the joy of the abundant life that Jesus promised, I suspect that maybe you are practicing the wrong things.Perhaps what you need aren't more practices that focus on doing more, but rather practices that focus more on being.Fortunately, there are just such practices. While they may not be as familiar to us as Bible study, prayer, and fellowship, these are in fact ancient practices passed down through the church by wise fathers and mothers of the faith. And deliberately practicing them can help us experience more of the joy of our salvation.So what are these practices that focus more on being?In today's video, I explain for you four of these ancient practices and some practical ways you can cultivate them in your life.In addition to the video, I've also created for you a Resource Guide which you can download as a PDF. This Resource Guide will not only help you retain the contents of the video better, but it also has some extra resources that you'll find helpful as you set up these deliberate spiritual practices in your life.Download the Resource Guide and watch today's video here.Click here to view the video and to download the teaching notes!I'll be back early next week with one more video for you, plus a special opportunity to go deeper.In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the video. Feel free to share it and the resource guide with anyone you think would find it helpful.With you on the journey,Steve Smith