By John Ankrom
When we think of basic training, many who were at one time or another in the military think of boot camp, because a soldier received his basic training while in boot camp. In boot camp the recruit learned the basics of discipline, team work, fighting and survival skills along with many other physical exercises that would enable the soldier to carry out his duty. There were rules to learn, material to master and if over the years anything was forgotten they would be required to go back and refresh themselves with the basics.
As young Christians do we not learn the basics? Do we not learn the fundamentals? As young Christians we were eager to learn all we could about the Lord and his word, but over the years we become listless and lifeless, apathy sets in and our faith weakens, our hope sinks our joy turns to fear and many start to waiver in their conviction. Sure, we may still come to worship service but our singing may be without feeling, our praying may be without conviction and our study of God's word may be less than energetic, we sit and say to ourselves what's the use!
If this is you, maybe what you need to do is what an athlete does when he is in a slump, he doesn't just sit on the bench and say what's the use, I'm just no good anymore, nor does he blame others for his apathy, his slump. What he does is returns to the basics. He goes back to training on the basics; he relearns what made him a great athlete. Should not this be our thinking also?
When we as Christians find ourselves in a slump what can we do, where can we turn? Maybe like the athlete we should return to the basics, but how? It's simple really; a return to the reading and studying of God's word and prayer will go a long way in restoring and reenergizing our faith, it will help us fortify our hope, it will help us reactivate our love and will greatly enhance our joy and will help us truly enjoy our peace.
A lack of joy is what is felt by most, we claim "My joy isn't what it used to be" maybe it's because we have lost focus of where our joy comes from. Joy is not found in things, joy comes to us because of God's grace, because of his unmerited favor.