Weekend Extra

Written by Bill Grandi on February 23rd, 2019

My title for this devotion is Life as a Classroom vs Life as a Proving Ground.

Let me introduce this with two personal stories (so please bear with me):

Story #1: While in high school I, like many, dreamed of playing basketball in college then the pros. Laughable dream but inconceivable actually. I started playing organized basketball in 9th grade and never touched a basketball formally until then. I couldn’t dribble and run at the same time. I improved greatly over the next couple of year (I had nowhere else to go but up). So much so that I began to dream of playing in college. I played in the summer and impressed the coaches. Until game time in real time. I was great in practice; sat the bench during games. It wasn’t until college it all came together.

Story #2: Spanish. Trig. Chemistry. Advanced Biology. Greek. Great in class but lousy in tests. The further I moved up into the subjects named, the tougher it got. I did fine in class. Understood. Could work things out. Translated Spanish. Understood Greek. But tests were a wipe out. One of my biggest laughs was the high school counselor asking me if I was going to take Calculus after Trig. Are you kidding me?

Why the stories? Because life is not the classroom. Life is the proving ground. I went to plenty of church camps, plenty of YFC/CL/Young Life retreats and came home bound and determined to make a difference in my school year. I fizzled out. Why? Because the rubber hit the road, not in the classroom but on the streets. All the determination in the world in the classroom (at practice) does not bring success in real life. To my way of thinking, God uses life (events, people, situations) to make practical and even to test what I learned in quiet.

“Father, it is not enough to sit in class, to practice away, and not be able to apply what I learn or to play the game in real life. Help me to apply the lessons I learn.”


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Yes, we can learn and practice to our heart’s content, but if can’t apply those lessons in the real world, we’re at a loss. Thanks for sharing these stories/examples today, Bill. Blessings!

  2. Ryan S says:

    There are a number of “Focus Points”, which are phrases we learn in TKD that help with this idea. Ironically, this week’s Focus Point is “Train as if it were real”. The idea is if the training doesn’t have the appropriate intensity, focus, and desire for excellence… It won’t be there when you need it. You can also develop training scars. Training scars typically are repetitive actions done during training that would not be something you would do in real world scenario. Another aspect of training is the partner aspect. If your training involves a partner, they need to be equally committed to the training. All this said, proper training will carry over, but you are correct… Life is the proving ground.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You have just said well what I was trying to say also Ryan. I remember being told, “Practice as you want to play.” Thanks for the great insight.

  3. Oh, man, can I relate! Thanks, Bill.