Automaticity is a term that has been invented by Sports coaches.  It is a term used to describe an automatic response.  Coaches want their students to perform automatically in a manner that will produce a winning run – whether it is skiing, basketball, racing or any other sport.  This is where practice comes in.  Practice makes habits.   Repeated practice develops habits that will produce a winning performance or a losing one.  This is why we want to practice correctly.  Practicing correctly makes winning habits and practicing incorrectly produces habits that cause us to lose.   The whole idea is to practice correctly so that your brain does not have to take the time to think about the response choices, choose one and then perform.  That takes at least 8 tenths of a second.  (I got this information from a science fair that I took my grandkids to see)    

 I just came from a clinic where I taught for three days.  There were several in the clinic that wanted to turn their horse around the barrels by pulling on the nose.  That is a response that we do automatically because it seems to make the best sense.  However, the more we pull on the nose, the more the horse will fade to the outside because of the way that God made him.  If you pull the left nose too far to the inside, his right hind leg will automatically move to the outside.  We are saying come left and actually causing the horse to float to the right.   To change the response, we must change our habit of pulling – instead, we want to start assisting with the outside leg and balancing the outside rein along with the inside nose, to bring the horse around the turn.  This cuts out the float.     According to the experts, it would take 300 correct responses to achieve the automaticity that we need to make a fast turn.   Our habit will be changed and the response of the horse will be favorable.  We first changed in our thinking and later in our actions. 

We cannot make 300 runs on a barrel horse, so we practice in ways that simulate the turn in various exercises that can be done at a trot.  We have to start developing correct turn habits at a walk, trot, canter and later a run.  

The Christian walk is exactly like this.   We first accept Christ into our hearts to begin our journey.  Without Him, we can never become automatic in our Christ-like responses.  He places his Holy Spirit inside of us to be our teacher and our helper.  Then, we begin to read His Word and listen to Bible based sermons and fellowship with like minded believers.   What happens then is a miracle to me.  As we desire to become more like Christ and follow His Word, we become transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Our thinking is changed to His principles and then our actions gradually change to be more like Him.    (Read Romans 12:1-2)

I meet many people that have started on the journey with Christ and then fell by the way side.  They wanted to reach automaticity overnight or quickly.  It does not happen that way.  We must realize that it is a lifetime journey and that we grow as we go.  Sometimes the problem is that we are not giving enough time to the Word of God.  Think about feeding our body.  If we skip meals, our body gets weak.   Our spirit is the same way. If we skip our devotions and our time in the Word each day, we will never reach the responses that we want. 

Remember this principle:   To reach automaticity in the Christian walk, we must start at a walk.  Practice being lovable to the people you are around.  If you fail, start again and again and again.  Nothing is learned overnight in the sports world and nothing is learned over night in the Christian walk.  It takes time and correct practice.  The Word of God tells us how we are to respond. It needs to be memorized and meditated on.  It is often like the pulling too hard on the horse’s nose because it seemed right.  The Word of God often tells us to do something opposite of what our flesh thinks SEEMS right.      Start today to become more Christ-like.  The world needs it badly today!

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Last modified: January 05, 2014