Since millions and millions of Americans have not bought my books I continue to make my living as a television sports director. My main gig is directing the Texas Ranger’s baseball telecasts. This has been a fun year for Ranger fans and one of the biggest treats so far has been watching the amazing hitting talent of outfielder/DH Vladimir Guerrero.
As I have marveled at Guerrero’s talent I thought back to some comments by Texas hitting coach Clint Hurdle. Clint talked to our announcers during a recent telecast and commented on some of his players. He talked about some things that he was doing with different hitters. But when the talk turned to Vlad Guerrero he chuckled and said something very simple.
“Vlad was struggling a bit in the spring so we sat down and looked at some video of him when things were going well. That’s all it took.”
I keep thinking about that process. Reviewing how things looked when things were going good got the talented Guerrero back on track. And I wondered why I don’t more readily adopt that strategy for my spiritual slumps? When I am going through a tough stretch I tend to try harder and worry more. I tend to concentrate on the giant and not the One who can defeat the giant. Maybe I should remember to sit down and cue up the memory videos of how my relationship with Jesus looked when things were going well. I know I would see a few consistent things when I recall times when I was living in joy and freedom.
I would see that I was resting and trusting completely in Christ and not in myself during those good times. I would note that I lived out of my new identity in Christ each day. I would recall that I served out of gratitude and joy as I lavished in His grace. I would realize that I did not live in hiddenness and shame because I believed there is no condemnation in Christ.
If I cued the memories back to the beginning of my journey with Jesus I would remember how absolutely and completely awed I was by God’s love. I would remember how I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I would remember how grateful I was for unmerited grace.
I could even cue the memories back to past difficult seasons and remember how God was faithful to give me grace, peace, wisdom and strength for each moment of the trial. And I would remember how I got through that time that I thought I could not get through. I might remember how I had grown during the trial and God had redeemed those struggles in my life and the lives of others.
King David certainly had his moments when he was deep in the valley of despair. Yet he still penned wonderful psalms of praise to remind himself of God’s love and mercy. Here is a fresh look at a familiar passage from Psalm 145.
God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.
God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace. (The Message)
It is a good exercise. Remember what your relationship with God looked like when you were on the mountain top. It may be all it takes to get back on track.