Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Old Wells

The past couple of weeks have been a trip for me… my dad is back home in Oak Ridge coaching high school football! In some ways I feel like a little kid again seeing him out there in cardinal and gray on the practice field training a new generation of Wildcats how to block and tackle. In some ways it feels just as it did in the old days; and then again, in some ways it doesn’t. You see, Dad is having to start over from scratch with these guys he doesn’t really know yet. Back in the day when I played, we all learned the system in the third grade, so that by the time we got to high school and were under Dad’s coaching, he knew that we knew what to do. Nowadays guys are having to un-learn everything they learned and re-learn it all his way. It’s like going back to the basics and redoing things that should have already been taken care of.

The basics should be second nature, but they aren’t. These guys ought to know at certain times what to do and where to be. They ought to get in certain positions and respond to certain circumstances automatically, but they don’t, so Dad’s having to go back the basics and re-teach the stuff they ought to have down by now. The other day I watched him tell one of his boys over and over again that he was coming off the ball too high… that he needed to get his body down low. These are football fundamentals I remember learning in the fourth grade when I blocked so low that my coach nick-named me “Toenail.” I can’t imagine getting to be a high school junior or senior without knowing how to block low!

Then again, I think I can imagine how that feels… I know how it feels to be so far along that you ought to have the basics down but you just don’t yet, and you’re constantly having to re-learn the same old lessons again and again. I’ve been reading through the book of John again and the thing that keeps blowing my mind is that I am getting so much out of the very basic things… Like in chapter 3 when Jesus told Nicodemus that you can really start over again... how did I forget that?! Or like in chapter 7 when Jesus told everyone at the Feast of Tabernacles that if you’re thirsty, you can go to Him and believing in Him will make streams of living water flow from within you… that’s so basic! How in the world am I still learning that lesson?

Then there was today… I was feeling low and just totally disconnected from Him and I turned to John 10 and read again (as if for the first time) those peerless verses where our Lord said that I am His… in His hand and no one can snatch me out of His eternal grip! How did I forget the most basic thing? That’s why it’s always good to ground your heart in the Word… to mine the fields of the fundamental truths of our faith so that even if you forget, you remember again. Genesis 26: 18 says, “Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.” That’s what it’s like to go back to those basic things… you may forget, and they may get buried, but dig them back up… keep reopening the old wells so you can have their refreshing water once again.

1 comment:

Cody Blair said...

great words here Lee, as always. hope you and your family are well, as well as CCC and the YL. summer's almost here!

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