No finish line – play the long game

By Dave Henning / March 24, 2022

“When it comes to imagining the prize, you’ve got to play the long game.  Simply put, there is no finish line. . . .  It’s about getting a little better every day in every way.  That mindset is the key to every habit — do it small.”- Mark Batterson

“You cannot jump to the second floor from the pavement.  Step by step, though, a man will come to the fifth floor.”- Emil Zatopek

Mark Batterson concludes Day 18 of Do It for a Day as he talks about our unforced errors.  Those errors hurt the most.  However, single mistakes fail to sink the battleship.  Rather, it’s allowing those single mistakes to turn into losing streaks.  That’s when we allow footholds to turn into strongholds.  Thus, bad decisions grow into bad habits.

Therefore, Pastor Batterson continues:

” . . . you need safeguards against compounding mistakes!  Of course, the opposite is necessary as well.  You have to turn small wins into winning streaks by repeating them over and over again. . . .  Good or bad, our smallest habits can have a domino chain effect.  You don’t have to make major changes.  You need to identify the little habits that are high leverage — the domino habits.”

Above all, Mark underscores, the goal is not the goal.  Instead, the goal is the process – the person you become.  However, Mark cautions, you cultivate bad habits when you practice things the wrong way.  Hence, deliberate practice means paying attention to the details.  So, you need to do the right thing for the right reason.  And do it the right way – the Jesus Way.

Consequently, Pastor Batterson exhorts, go ahead and dream big.  But think small and think long.  That means you fly the kite a little higher and longer every day.  Most significantly, over time the ceiling becomes the floor.  With that philosophy, Emil Zatopek won three gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.  He also won sixty-nine races in a row.  For his career, Zatopek ran over 50,000 miles.  Today, take that one small step to make little-by-little progress!

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you play the long game – with no finish line?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Exercise your spiritual authority”

About the author

Dave Henning

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