I made a profound statement to my daughter, Shelby today and the words have been stirring around in my head ever since. So, that tells me 2 things. The first is positively true; the second is probably true. One, if the statement really was profound, then it came from God and not me (see Matthew 10:20) and two, maybe God meant it more for me instead of Shelby.

Shelby is playing softball this year; her first year in a real competitive league. She has awesome natural ability that has potential to develop her into a great softball player; but she has to practice. Not just on practice nights; also at home. I mention this to her a lot and I get the rolled eyes in response. If you have a preteen, you know what I’m talking about. Yesterday I reminded her again. Rolled eyes again. Then I believe God intervened. “Shelby, this is not about me. If you don’t practice, everyone will know. It will be apparent on your practice nights and game days. You can’t hide it.”

The message to me was plain. If I am not trying (practicing) to be a better husband, father, friend, son, etc, etc, it will never happen. If I’m not trying to lose weight; be financially wise and be a better employee, it will never happen. My natural tendency is to be lazy, self-centered, greedy, impulsive and a glutton.  Go ahead, take your shots at me, too. They’re probably all true.

Shelby wants to be a great softball player. I want to be all of the positive things I mentioned above, but “want to” is not enough. I can’t make a wish and wake up in the morning a new and improved me. It happens in the movies, but it hasn’t worked for me yet. So, to boil it down, here’s the lesson that God is trying to teach me:

A Dream without Discipline, Doing and Deadlines leads to unfulfilled Desires.

I have enough of those. Don’t you?

***Published with the expressed verbal consent of Shelby Lynne Brady

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