If you’d have had the pleasure of playing basketball at UCLA during the glory days of Coach John Wooden, you’d have learned the value of repetition. Freshmen arriving for the first day of practice were full of anticipation. How would the legendary John Wooden open his first practice? Would he speak of character? Would he give them some nugget of wisdom? How would he set the tone for the long season to come.
Veterans knew what was coming. It was the same thing every year. Wooden’s first instruction had to do with . . . socks! That’s right! At the first practice, the venerable John Wooden reviewed with he players how to put on a pair of socks.
Wooden discovered many players didn’t properly smooth out wrinkles in the socks around their heels and little toes. If left uncorrected, these wrinkles could cause blisters that could hamper their performance at crucial times during games. Many players thought the practice odd and laughed about it then. Wooden knows some of them still laugh about it today. But the coach would not compromise on this basic fundamental principle: “I stuck to it. I believed in that, and I insisted on it.”
In our desire to grow as Christians, we can easily forget about the fundamentals of our faith. If we do, we run the risk of developing painful spiritual blisters that can hurt us as we run our race. You see, you never get to far along to relearn the basics.