I was reading the book Drive by Daniel Pink a few months ago. I got a number of good ideas from it, especially his discussion of “mastery.” One quote stood out to me. He quoted Julius Erving, the NBA hall-of-fame player: “Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them” (p. 125). That just seems so true. It comes down to discipline. I love to walk and go out for a walk 2-3 times per week. My usual route is 3 miles. But there are days when I just don’t want to go—and sometimes don’t. Any excuse will do: it’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s raining. I didn’t bring the right color of socks. You get the idea.
But it also seems true in the Christian life as well. I love studying the Bible, but there are days when it is really hard to get started. I have e-mails to answer. I have too much grading or need to freshen up my PowerPoint. I need to rearrange the pencils in my pencil can. Sometimes I’ve just got to grit my teeth and get my Hebrew Bible open and get started. Usually I’m fine once I get started. Prayer often works the same way. I want to be a “pro” at the Christian life. Sometimes that means doing the things I love to do even on the days I don’t feel like doing them.