In honor of the start of the US Open, I thought I would share another life lesson from the game of tennis…
This recent tennis obsession of mine is proving to teach me more about myself than about the actual game. I’m sure I’ll never be a tennis pro, but at least I’m learning something along the way.
I’ve been taking tennis lessons for a little over a year now and for most of that time we’ve been simply working on the fundamentals and building muscle memory for consistent hitting. It’s just been recently that we’ve actually started to play for points and, well… let’s just say that any confidence I was developing went right back out the window. It’s one thing to be able to consistently return a shot when you’re casually hitting. It’s an entirely different deal when points are on the line and competition kicks in. (And have I mentioned before that I’m a bit competitive?)
Here’s what I’ve realized: I play tennis much like I play the game of life – defensively and reactionary.
In my tennis game, I respond to hits coming to me rather than directing the course of play. I react to what I’m given rather than creating shots that get my opponent moving and reacting.
In life, I tend to wait to see what is coming at me and then respond defensively rather than stepping out to take some risks and try new things. I tend to be on guard, protecting what I know rather than pushing forward confidently to try new things.
As a result, I miss things. I miss big wins. I don’t anticipate well and I miss opportunities. All because I’m waiting for the ball to come to me rather than directing the course of play.
I know that God has big dreams for me and yet too often I’m sitting around waiting for those opportunities to come directly to me rather than rushing the net and going after it. I believe that God wants the best for us but I also believe He’s looking for a little intentionality on our part… a little risk… and a lot of faith. There is no way that we can live like that if we’re waiting for the perfectly predictable shot. Perfect, predictable, easy-to-return shots are few and far between. You’ve got to lean in, get on your toes and anticipate where God’s leading you and go for it!