Theology for Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers 4(For the uninitiated, “Theology for Grasshoppers” is my attempt to tell my story of faith to my grandkids.  I hope I’m around long enough to tell them personally.  But just in case I reach the finish line before I get the opportunity, these letters will be the record of what I believe and why I believe it…in words and stories they can understand.)

Hey there, Farrasprouts!

I want to teach you something that’s a little above your pay grade right now, but it’s definitely something you’re learning first hand these days, whether you know it or not.

It’s the value of repetition.

One of the things that separates people who just “get by” in life, from people who ultimately do amazing things in their world is how well they master the art of repetition. That means learning to do the same things over and over and over again, in order to do them better.

Holdie, in your short career as a little baseball player, you’ve already experienced the value, and the results,  of practicing the same exact patterns when you swing a baseball bat.  Back elbow down (not “up” like everybody tries to tell you), hands at your back ear, see the ball, front foot down early, swing for the fence.  Again and again and again and again and again.  Repetition.

Great soccer players understand this.  Great guitar players understand this.  Great doctors understand this.  Great debaters understand this.  Great husbands and wives and dads and moms understand this.  Great scientists and carpenters and dancers and teachers…and even old pastors….understand this.  Repetition.

I hope this sinks into your little hearts someday.  Repetition is a spiritual thing.  It can feel dull and boring, yet at the center of repetition you can find the fruit of self-discipline.  

You can be fooled into thinking there are so many different things you could be doing, other than deepening your skills through repetition.  Repetition isn’t the “fun” part. Practicing  the fundamentals gets no attention and no awards and no trophies.  But it’s the only real path to get you where you’re going.  And it’s the stuff of legends.

Through repetition:

  • A baseball swing becomes a work of art.
  • Reading becomes joy.
  • Dribbling becomes dancing.  
  • Mathematics becomes a symphony.
  • A painting becomes a masterpiece.
  • Prayer becomes intimate conversation.
  • Faith becomes the oxygen of life.
  • Hope becomes confidence.
  • Love becomes the abandoning of self.
  • Trusting God becomes instinctive.

These are pretty deep things, little newbies.  Most people don’t practice them enough to ever fully realize how awesome life can be when little things are mastered.  

Don’t run from repetition.  Run to it.

Be wise, Grasshoppers. 



One thought on “Theology for Grasshoppers

  1. Well said, an absolute truth! A Jesuit priest who I use to go beer drinking with in college said to me don’t just study a subject, master it! I will borrow your article for my grandchildren. Thank you so much!

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