Ponderings by Doug

Use it or lose it.

Football coaches would quote this when we were in the weight room lifting. I have heard it come from language professors admonishing students to use their Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and German daily or we would lose our ability to use the language. My piano teacher gave a similar tidbit of wisdom as she talked about muscle memory. It is true, use it or lose it.

I haven’t used it and I have almost lost it.

Often, I write notes to members of the congregation. For some I am inviting them to various events in church life. For others, I am simply writing a note of encouragement as they go through rocky times in their lives. I even have a category called, “I know where you sit, and I haven’t seen you sitting there for a couple of Sundays.” I was writing a pile of those notes just this week. If you want your preacher to NOT keep up with your attendance, move around the sanctuary each Sunday.

I am not sure what happened but for each successful note I wrote, there were two I threw away because of mistakes. It seems my handwriting is on the fritz.

A long time ago, students learned cursive handwriting in the third grade. It was a rite of passage. No longer could the adults in your life write in that secret language. Now you could translate the Christmas gift list written in cursive. We would spend class time forming these majestic flowing shapes of the cursive letters. From that point onward, it was cursive writing for us.

In the third grade now, kids learn the keyboard. The current generation might not even learn to write, since everything is done with some form of keyboard. That is sad in so many ways. Once you were judged as a person by your cursive handwriting style. Now you are judged by how fast you can send a text message. Things have certainly changed.

I am guilty of not writing by hand and I think I have lost much of my cursive writing skill.

Where in your life has “use it or lose it” proven true?

There are skills we learn that must be practiced daily. There are also disciplines that must be practiced daily. Love is one of those disciplines that must be practiced. If you think you have “fallen out of love” the good news is that you can fall back into love. Patience can be practiced. Compassion, mercy, forgiveness needs to be practiced.

Even your faith needs to be practiced. So, find a church on Sunday, we will all be practicing.

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