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Do It Again, Lord! Do It Here! (1 of 3)
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
September 9, 2001
Introduction: Today I want you to do what sports psychologists call "imaging" or "visualizing." Modern trainers and coaches teach athletes the importance of forming a mental picture of what they are attempting. A golfer will try to hit the ball in his mind and then imagine it flying toward its intended target. A gymnast or skater goes through the routine in her head before ever attempting it. I guarantee you that the world class tennis players who have competed in the US Open this week have been training to think through each serve before they ever toss the ball in the air. This can get all mixed up with lots of strange New Age psycho-babble and weird psychic junk. I certainly don't intend to take you there. But the reason this stuff is emphasized and why it seems to work is because there is a real element of truth behind it.
It is a part of the way God wired us. We must be able to grasp something in our minds before we can grasp it in our hands. We seldom attempt what we can't imagine. Thinking almost always precedes doing. If you don't think you can do something, you probably won't. One of the great illustrations of this comes from Track and Field history. Fifty years ago, the conventional wisdom said that no human could ever run a four-minute mile. Articles were written in sports magazines championing the idea that a barrier existed that no human could ever cross. Medical experts even explained that the human anatomy and muscle mechanics made a four-minute mile unachievable.
Sure enough, in the late forties and early fifties, runner after runner challenged the mile record. Milers around the world—US, Australia, Europe—were running just over four minutes. But no one could shatter that mythical barrier. Then in 1954 a British runner from Oxford named Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four minute mile in a record setting th ...
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