“Are you a football fan?” Stan asked me one morning.
“Not really,” was my response. “I watch a few games, but I’m not really a fan.”
“Ever heard of Vince Lombardi?” Stan asked.
“Sure, but I don’t know a whole lot about him.”
“There’s a famous story about him that has some real application to what you and I talk about.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“After losing a crucial championship game the previous season, Vince Lombardi, who coached the Green Bay Packers professional football team, began the 1961 training camp by gathering the players, holding up a football, and saying, ‘This, gentlemen, is a football.’”
“In other words,” Stan continued, “he was going back to the very basics. The point is obvious. Knowing the basics is essential for proceeding to the more complex. The same is true with our relationship with God.”
“Do you have any basics for my relationship with God?” I asked.
“It is not I who have the basics, it is God,” Stan responded.
“In one of the books of the Old Testament, God used one of His prophets to proclaim the basics of what God wants for each one of us.”
“If I get the basics right,” Stan went on, “I am ready to proceed with what God has for me to be and to do.”
“What are those basics?” I asked.
“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”
“Each one of those basics is essential. It is just like a child who crawls before standing up to walk and eventually to run. Master the basics to be prepared for what the Lord has in store.”
“We’ll talk more about all of this in the future, but for now I suggest you begin to focus on these basics. Pray about what the Lord wants you to see.”
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for showing me the basics of what you want in order for us to grow in an ever-deepening relationship. Please, Lord, help me with the basics so I will be prepared for all of the more complex things you have for me to be and to do. Amen.