Even though I live in the Pacific Northwest, I have not been particularly knowledgeable about the approaches and mindset of the players of the Seattle Seahawks . Today, the fellow who gave the sermonette (who happens to be a big Seattle fan) talked about the playing philosophy of Russell Wilson (who strikes me as the cerebral sort of quarterback), quoting Wilson as saying that “Separation Comes From Preparation.” Given the fact that all teams on the NFL level are made up of very talented players, I took this comment to mean that separating from those who are very similar in skill level requires an attention to detail, and preparation so that one has an advantage in mental insight and in knowledge and in practice. The fact that the speaker sought to explicitly connect this diligent practice that is common to athletes or musicians with our Christian walk was something to give a lot of food for thought.
What are we preparing for? There is a lot in our lives that can be seen as preparation. There are some people who in reading the Bible have come to the wise conclusion that we are born to rule as human beings (see, for example, Hebrews 2). More complicated is the fact that we are born to rule but also to be loyal and trustworthy members of the royal family of God. This presents all kinds of complications, given that we must be people of honor and integrity in whom others can rely in being honorable and just in our conduct, and also people who must be able to handle authority over us well and be capable of trusting appropriately. Those who cannot be ruled, who cannot deal with authority over them, will not be trusted to be in authority over others. An enfant terrible makes a terrible tyrant when full grown. As much as some of us (myself included) struggle to trust others effectively, it is a worthwhile struggle to continue at as long as it takes to get it right, because of the cosmic implications at stake.
This sort of preparation is equally true with regards to the less cosmic but still important matters here on this earth that we all prepare for. Abraham Lincoln said, “I will study and prepare and my chance will come .” This is a sensible quote and my own view as well. At some point, one has to deal with a matter in experience rather than in study and preparation, but often practicing the right kind of behaviors in life can pay off in ways that others cannot easily recognize, and that we do not recognize until the time has come. Sometimes we do not know exactly what we are preparing for, or when it will take place; all we can do is do the best we can and develop the character and patience we need until our chances come, for whatever it is that we are preparing for. Life is full of unexpected surprises, and we never know what chances we will have, or what will be the results of our thoughts and words and deeds. Yet having certain preparation and discipline ahead of time allows us to be ready when those chances arise, because we are already ready for them.
We may never be world-class athletes or musicians whose performances are in the public eye and whose preparation is essential for the happiness of entire countries or regions or cities. We may never find our lives playing out on the grand scale that draws the attention of dozens, much less hundreds or thousands or millions, or even billions. That said, we all have areas in our life where self-discipline and practice can make our lives better, and we should all take the opportunities that life presents us to grow and mature, to see our blind spots and prepare for the sorts of things that life throws our ways. After all, athletes spend time breaking down tendencies and looking at video work to analyze their own actions and reflect upon them as well as look at future opponents. We should all reflect the same ourselves, considering what is at stake in our own lives.
 See, for example: