John Wooden was the head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach. He was known for teaching his players practical things that ensured top-level performance.
For one thing, he taught them how to put on their socks! No kidding. Each season Coach Wooden showed his players how to prevent sock-wrinkles around the little toe and heel, and how to lace up their shoes with a double-knot. This helped his players avoid blisters. In the closing minutes of a close game, the player without blisters on his feet will perform better. This simple, basic detail contributed to a series of National Championships.
Wooden never had to resort to pep talks or tirades. He just helped his players excel at the basics because, as Coach Wooden said, “Excelling at the basics wins ball games.”
The same is true of the Christian life. Learning to excel at the basics is what will help a believer be a successful Christian. There are no tricks and no short-cuts to this process. The only way to excel in the Christian life is to do the basics: daily prayer, daily Bible study, daily worship…in other words, daily walking with God.
Spending time in prayer, memorizing a Bible verse, or visiting a shut-in to encourage them may sometimes seem about as exciting as putting on your socks! But when you do it right, that is what prevents spiritual blisters that can eventually hurt your walk with God if you are not careful.
Have you gotten away from the basics?