Skip to content

「道成了肉身,住在我們中間,充充滿滿的有恩典(Charis)有真理(Alethia)。我們也見過他的榮光,正是父獨生子的榮光。」(約翰福音1:14)

基本功

Eddie Van Halen

最近彈結他發覺自己 “hit a brick wall”,想再快也快不了,因為手指不能協調。Youtube 上的結他老師都教導,想要衝破那 “speed limit” 的話,必須要回到最慢開始。要由極慢的 40 bpm 起,彈一個 scale 要彈到連續四次完全沒有錯,才能慢慢加快到 45 bpm, 50 bpm, 55bpm…… 如此類推。這些練習,其實是要在你的 muscle memory 和腦袋的 neural network 裡從新 program 過一些新的網絡和記憶,使到那變成「自動波」,才能在極速的時候操縱自如。

我已故的老師 Randy Pausch 討論美式足球的訓練時曾說過:”Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work.” 好友 Vivien 也在紙藝手工的世界裡發現這不變的道理:『再勁的創意背後若沒有穩打穩紮的基本功也是無用。而基本功的鍛鍊來自不斷重覆又重覆那看似「一模一樣」的動作。』

人生每一樣東西,其實都需要打好基本功才能有昇華的可能性。

我們擁有的每一樣技能,每一個角色身份,打好基本功未?

可能這是我們甚少答和甚少思想的問題。

那做基督徒的基本功是甚麼?真的沒有那一節聖經比這句更能突顯基督徒生命的精髓。

「親愛的弟兄阿,你們卻要在至聖的真道上造就自己,在聖靈裡禱告,保守自己常在神的愛中,仰望我們主耶穌基督的憐憫,直到永生。」(猶 20-21)

  1. Keep learning and growing in faith and holiness, and do that in a community of faith (because the verb “to build up” is in plural)
  2. Keep praying in the Spirit
  3. Keep dwelling in God’s love and resist anything that does not let you
  4. Keep having hope in the mercy of Christ

當你感到自己屬靈生命停濟不前的時候,試試回到這些基本功吧。

說真的,不用多想了,沒有別樣的。也沒有捷徑能夠繞過這些基本不過的東西。

基本功就是基本功。


Posted in Life, Music, Posts in Chinese, Spirituality.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


9 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Timothy Chan says

    That’s what I teach my bass guitar students also… start from 40 bpm and work up. I ask them to practice daily the fundamental stuff.

    Unfortunately, most of my students give up on basic exercises before long. Maybe I’m not a god teacher and I don’t stress it enough, but most likely, this basic stuff just seems boring. I stuck with my own basic fundamental bass guitar exercises for 8 years, but at some point it was hard to keep doing it too because it seems unproductive.

    For 2010, for the first time in my life, I’m doing a 1-year-read-thru-Bible program. I’m hoping this is my back-to-basics for 2010. Instead of “muscle memory,” this one is for “spiritual memory.”

    • Anson says

      Good for you, Tim! I hope you can persevere and accomplish this goal. I have also started a 1-year bible reading plan since last summer. I have had ups and downs, but I find it helpful to just simply resume wherever I have stopped and just keep going, rather than feeling guilty of not following the plan or trying to play catch up.

      Hope you will succeed.

  2. L says

    This reminds me of the comic “Slam Dunk”, the protagonist started as someone who knows nothing about basketball, but through endless practice of the basics (passing the ball around the body; shooting 10000 shoots from the same spot), he became a factor for the team’s success.

    It’s so easy to give up on the basics, especially when there are other, more interesting things to learn. Thank you for your reminder once again. 🙂

    • Anson says

      Yeah Leo, I can think of a number of movies in the 80s that play this recurring theme, e.g. Karate Kid, Rocky….etc. They emphasize going through tough training in the fundamentals in order to become great.

      Actually this is how the human body is constructed. Our muscles have muscle memories. Our entire brain is made up of neural networks that can only be built up by repetition. There is no other way of learning.

      Unfortunately, these days the theme of obtaining power without emphasizing much the hard learning process is more popular, e.g. Matrix (downloading a particular skill), the Marvel Comics superhero series…. leading people to think that they are either born with the power or they can obtain and use it instantaneously. Not to mention, the whole video game paradigm is like that. You pick up some object and you immediately gain the power… (though RPGs are slightly better…. you need to go through repetitive battles to gain experience and level up in order to become more powerful…… but rather than spending time to earn a virtual gaming skill, I’d rather spend time and learn something real, like playing a real guitar…)

      And yeah, even if we watch these touching 80s movies, we often nod and know in our hearts that this is the right way to learn and to become great, but then when we exit the theater, we immediately forget to apply what we have learned on ourselves and only keep procrastinating and delaying the change that is necessary for transformation.

      So why do we procrastinate and are often unwilling to change? It is exactly because of our same neural anatomy. Just as we can program good habits in us, we can also program bad habits or repulsion of good habits in us. When we have become sufficiently comfortable in a bad habit, it takes twice the effort — to first unlearn a bad habit and then relearn a good habit. And our brains are so clever in maintaining normality in our behavior so to avoid change and uncomfort, it will give all sorts of excuses, consciously and unconsciously, to prevent change from happening. That’s how addiction works. It is also how sin keeps us in bondage. It is part of our fallen nature and why we cannot reform ourselves, especially in regards to those deeply entrenched behaviors.

      A fascinating book on this whole neurological process and its relationship with our spirituality is called:
      Gerald G. May, M.D., Addiction & Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (New York: HarperCollins, 1988)

      My professor recommended this book and said this is the only book he is tempted to stick it to the back of his bible, due to its profound understanding of our humanity and our addictive frailties, and how grace is the only way that can break the cycle. It is that good. Highly recommended for all those who have struggled with making a resolution in the new years and have never been able to accomplish that goal.

      • L says

        Now that you mention it, we really don’t see this “recurring theme” in the movies anymore…

        And I agree that the so called “will power” is something we can only learn by repeatedly going through tough situations. As soon as one figures that it’s always OK to give up, then there’s no more incentive to work hard.

        By the way, I just clicked on the Amazon link, and the book is out of stock. I guess it’s that good eh? 😛 I’ll try to look for it at Chapters or something.

        • Anson says

          Oopps, I actually bought the last copy from the Chapters store on Robson and gave a copy to Derek last week =) Maybe you can order online and just wait a little bit. You guys can read it together and we can have a discussion next time we meet.

          Yeah, it’s very good. I think it provides a very deep insight (using both psychological and physiological perspective on top of biblical teachings) on what Paul is talking about in Romans 7, namely, why we do not understand what we do, and for what we want to do we do not do, but what we hate we do.

          If I have a chance in the future, I want to propose leading a silent retreat reading this book and talking about addiction. For I think most of our struggles with sin are manifestations of some sort of addiction.

          • L says

            Hahaha… I was actually thinking of forwarding your recommandation to him. I guess I don’t have to now. 😀

            A whole retreat based on the book eh? That’d be so interesting. Let’s make that happen!!

  3. 四方格 says

    只想說句多謝。因為你所說的”屬靈生命停濟不前”﹐正是我現在經歷的。自己也知道該做甚麼﹐但總是提不起勁。感謝你的分享﹐讓我再次知道﹐回歸基本的重要性。

  4. Anson says

    謝謝你的留言。

    希望你能在那兒放下,就在那兒拾起來,重拾那美好的關係。
    不用雄心壯志,只須在最基本的事上,踏出一小步 (Take one baby step at a time.)
    一小步就是一小步。一小步後就有不同的心境,讓你繼續踏多一小步。

    God always meets us where we are at, and our Lord is always gentle to those who are weary and worn out (Matt. 11:28-30).

    願主祝福你。