TENNIS LESSONS

One of the reasons that parents and guardians encourage their children to play a sport is because of the life-lessons that they can learn from it. Sports can teach a child the virtues of discipline, goal setting, hard work, adaptability and how to rebound after defeat. Notice how these mental qualities are applicable to virtually any career activity, and can help children prepare for the realities of life.



Many of you know that I play the sport of tennis. I have been rated in the B category and people tell me that I am not a bad player. I suppose my record might bear that statement out. About three years ago, I played in a singles final at the UVI (University of the Virgin Islands) courts.  I had beaten three players on my way there fairly easily, and after discussing strategy with my coach, I earnestly held a hope for winning my first tournament.

My opponent was about fifteen years my senior and I certainly planned to exploit that fact as part of my strategy. However, after losing the first set, my opponent, to his credit, decided to change the game. He began to chop, slice and hit drop-shots. He hit moon balls, took pace off the ball and challenged me to make passing shots by coming to the net. He told me after the match that he decided to make me work. This new strategy taxed my physical and mental powers and though I fought gallantly for a while, the truth is, I came in second. In case you have missed the euphemism, the naked truth is I lost! What happened you ask? I ran out of gas. I lost the will to win. I abandoned my strategy. I fainted!



What happened to me in that match can happen to Christians on the tennis court of Christianity. The apostle Paul who himself used sporting analogies in his writings to Christians knew that too. In his letter to the saints in Galatia we find these words. “And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we will reap if we faint not” (Gal 6: 9). Christians have and often do become weary in the sweltering heat of difficulty. Their mental, spiritual and emotional energies are often taxed into shortage by Satan’s “make-him-work” strategy. It does not matter if we are preachers or elders or men or women. Once you play the game of Christianity you can become weary and faint.

So as you play for Jesus make sure you are well hydrated by the water of God’s word. Do not make the error of thinking that because you have won some battles that you have won the war. Have the spiritual dexterity that allows you to cope with different darts that the wily devil might shoot at you. Don’t take Satan, your opponent for granted. Remember he has sworn to do you evil and does not care how he gets you. He is your senior having been on the trail since Eden. Finally, show trust in Jesus your coach, by staying with the divine strategy. After all Jesus has never even lost a set to Satan.


 

Written by:   Thaddeus Bruno

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