The other day I was scrolling through my twitter feed and saw a video post titled ‘players completing tagging up drills’. I clicked on the link and watched a 20 second video of Major League Baseball players standing 10 feet from 3rd base until a coach blew the whistle, after which they gingerly stepped back to the bag, tagged it, and then jogged home. I couldn’t stop laughing at this video.
I found something so funny about watching adult professional athletes complete a drill to remind them of one of the most basic fundamentals of the game of baseball. I mean, honestly, if you don’t know how to tag from third on a fly ball, you have never played the game. It’s that simple.
It’s Lent, and this video got me thinking about the basics of our faith. This is the season that our Church urges us to remember three basics: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These three spiritual exercises are a few of the most fundamental to our spiritual life, and in many ways are pretty basic. There aren’t complicated steps to complete, recipes to follow, or theories to memorize when it comes to these three practices, yet somehow we tend to make them a lot more difficult than they need to be.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He gave them a short prayer to memorize and repeat. When I struggle with time, energy, and effort when it comes to my prayer life, I try to remember to keep it simple. When Jesus and His disciples were accused of not observing fasting laws, He taught us that we don’t fast to simply keep a law, but we fast so that we can grow in our relationship with God. When I struggle with discipline, obedience, and significance when it comes to fasting, I try to remember that I don’t fast for His benefit, I fast for my own. When Jesus taught us how to give, he told us about the Widow’s mite. When I struggle with budgets, trust, and fear when it comes to giving, I try to remember that Jesus doesn’t want (or need) an abundance of money, He wants an abundance of love.
This Lent I think it’s time for all of us to take a page out of Baseball’s playbook and practice some basics. Don’t overcomplicate it, don’t worry about whether or not it’s enough, don’t worry about how you look doing it. Just practice these simple drills with great love, and know that in the end it’s going to help us get home.
Executive Director of Arise