Friday, August 28, 2009

Who Is Your Partner?

I love tennis. In fact, I am even on a tennis team at my local club, where we play in two different leagues, three to five times a week, all year long!

As much as I enjoy playing, my husband always tells me Im not competitive enough (unlike him, who is so competitive that he would rather lose a right eye than let someone beat him at a board game, a Wii game, or a race across the yard --even if said persons he is playing against are below the age of ten).

But anywayyyyy..... :)

During a team clinic one day, my tennis pro reminded us of an important game tip....that "you cant control where the ball is going to go, but you can always control where you stand on the court". Meaning, if we stay in the right position, it doesnt matter where the opponent hits the ball, because we should be able to handle it.

I was reminded how true this is for our life too. We can be playing life just fine, then a spin ball comes out of nowhere and we dont know which direction to run or what shot to take! Like a sudden storm that rages into our life unexpectedly, we are suddenly faced with a decision of where to stand.

The easiest place to stand, is on the court where fear, worry, anxiety and hopelessness reside; a court consumed with anger, resentment, hurt and unforgiveness. And even though this court does not sound good, it is where most of us automatically run to at the onset of a serious issue. Trust me, I know. I have been thrown some tough shots lately, and this court sounds just like somewhere I have felt compelled to hang out.

The bad news is that that it is the enemy's court. The court where the enemy wants us to stand, so he can throw more balls at us, and hopefully get us off the path that God is leading us down.

The good news is that life is not a singles tennis game, instead, it is a game of doubles. The partners are there, and we are faced with the decision of who to play with.

Picture a tennis court in Heaven. One side is Satans court (our opponent), and other side is Gods court (our partner). Scripture tells us that Satan stands before Jesus every day accusing us, so like it or not, we have to recognize that he is on the court too, fighting for his side, hitting hard balls at us, trying to trip us up, trying to make us fall....but all the while Jesus stands before God, right beside us, as our mediator.

That visual brings a smile to my heart, and helps bring a smile to my face during those times when I find myself floundering on the opponents court.

Every day in life, we have an opportunity to choose a partner. We can choose to act out, speak out, and live out in ways that gives the enemy a winning point, or we can choose to act out, speak out and live out in ways that gives God the glory.

Even if our hearts wish the game of life were going differently, we can take hope in knowing that somehow, someway, God will be glorified, because all things happen to His glory to those whom He calls. Sometimes, believing that truth is the only thing that keeps me going.

What a wonderful feeling to know that with God on our side, the ball is in our court, and He is our Sovereign partner. He is our defender and our protector. He will be the one guiding us, helping us choose which shots to make, which words to use, and which decisions to act on.

An interesting tidbit that I came across was that the term "tennis" is thought to derive from the French word tenez, which means "take heed" — meaning "a warning from the server to the receiver". The webster definition of the term "take heed" means, to listen and pay attention.

From a spiritual perspective, I think we need to take tennis, or "take heed", to heart. Our Father serves life, we receive life, but we always get to choose our partner.

We can either take heed and listen to Gods direction on how to play the game, or flail around trying to hit every ball that gets hit at us, while feeling that our efforts are pointless, futile, and defeating.

Simply put, while we are here on earth, we have no choice but to play the game of life, and play it to the best of our ability. That best way is to fully depend on Him to teach us how to play; and always remain fully aware of where we are standing on the court.

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1 comment:

Angie said...

I am learning to play this game of "tennis". Great analogy.

I am hearing Gods instruction more clearly but at the same time, Satan is still on the side line(are there side lines in tennis or just football?) shouting those words that continue to ring over and over in my haed, "You can't do that!"

I am starting to show him that "I can" but that doesn't keep him quiet. I think it makes him even more audible, even running back and forth shouting those words to me.

I am trying to place myself in the right position so I can return every ball that is hit to me.

Now I wish I played tennis so I could go do a little ball smashing!