I’m grateful for the Scribettes—my writing group. We hand out “prompts” every time we get together and spend some time writing. As the snow melt was underway the last time we met, our prompts centered around spring. It’s time for spring sports to start, and that prompt brought back memories of my high school tennis team.
High School Play (Who Can Remember?)
Tennis. Running after a ball. The satisfying SMACK when it hits the sweet spot in the racquet in the return volley. One handed backhand swings, net overhead smashes or drop shots. Sweating—a lot!
Ahhhh—such are the sounds of spring as sports pick up when the snow leaves.
As a member of my high school tennis team (eons ago), I couldn’t wait for the courts to clear of snow in the spring. My school was in a varsity league that included all the area high schools. Matches were set up with five singles and two doubles. The school with the majority matches won then triumphed in the entire match that day.
To Play Or Not To Play
I’ll never forget one match I played. My opponent was bigger than me. Taller and just larger. She had more power. She also played games within a game. She used tricks, as if she twisted a knee or ankle, or hurt her back or arm. I’m sure this was done to throw me off my game. It worked. I felt sorry for her. Big mistake!
Individual matches were won in two sets. If the players split sets, then a third one was played. By the time we were half-way through the third set, it was getting dark and everyone else was done. We were on center stage. My opponent stepped up her antics and spent as much time laying on the court as she actually did playing on it. She couldn’t hit my serves. We tied about every game to the end, then she feigned weakness and suddenly slammed one by me. We were done. She won.
It wasn’t until I reached my coach that I learned the whole team match depended on the outcome of my individual match. The team lost that day. I wilted. But—my coach said I’d played well, and I’d had to contend with actions that had no business on a tennis court. I have an idea that she lodged a complaint wherever coaches do that.
- Perhaps I learned a little about discernment. What is real, trickery, or just false? Things may look one way to me, but observers may see what’s really going on.
- I learned to conduct myself with decorum even if my opponent plays foul. I can act with dignity, even if provoked. It’s a decision I make in my head before a situation presents the opportunity.
Looking to the Coach
How does this lesson translate to the spiritual? Well, I am glad you asked. We have an enemy who uses tricks and feigns weakness before slamming a win over us. We may feel like an underdog. We may feel discouraged. We may feel like a loser.
But we have a Coach who is always on our side. He’s ready to pat us on the back and give us tips and encouragement at any point to improve our game.
If it appears that we have lost game, set, match, it falls behind us when He tells us that we played well. No matter the obstacles!
Keeping our eyes on our Coach, as well as the ball, gives us the confidence to go out and win!