“Christy, you over-ran the ball again!”
The word “again” echoed in my ears. I knew Coach was right.
Ah, the story of my life! Well, at least on this day it seemed that way.
I was taking a tennis lesson to fix my problem with volleys. In a volley, when your racket hits the ball you should hear a POP! Mine had more plop than pop.
Coach’s diagnosis: too fast, over-running the ball, not at the right spot at the right time – all causing me to miss my opportunity for a put-away.
Solution: slow down, wait for the ball, meet the ball in the right spot – win the point.
My problem may be that I run too fast and miss an opportunity, but the same thing holds true for those that won’t move because they’re too slow – too comfortable right where they are in their safe place.
In the game of doubles, most points are won by the person closest to the net. Some people would rather hang around the baseline where they feel safe. Even though they hear the voice of the coach saying, “Move in”, they wait. Wait until it’s too late, and miss their opportunity to score.
Do you ever feel like you’re not in the right place? Out of step?
Yep, me too.
Here’s the life lesson I learned on the court….
Timing is everything in tennis. God’s timing is everything in life. To get with the right timing you have to listen and follow the instruction of the Instructor.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”. (NIV)
On the tennis court, I need to follow the instruction and timing of my coach. He should know, he’s the pro. I have to learn to listen and give attention to his guidance even when what he says doesn’t always make sense to me. If I go when he tells me to go, my path usually leads me right where I need to be to connect with the ball in a way that wins the point. Now that’s a good thing.
The same holds true in my spiritual life. When I run ahead of God with my own agenda without praying or considering where He wants me, I find myself out of step and I miss His best.
But even more so, if I hear God’s voice prompting me to go, pray for someone, help a neighbor, write a comforting note to a friend, or use the talents He’s given me, and I act too slow, or don’t go and ignore the prompting altogether, I set myself up again to be out of step and miss out on a God assignment, a blessing.
But God is graciously patient with me, as He is with all of us. Philippians 1:6 tells us that God, who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until Jesus comes back. That means He gives us season after season to practice hearing and following His voice. He works in us and through us to complete His purposes.
All we have to do is chase down His wise coaching until the lessons are fixated in our hearts and minds.
You might say each day He puts the ball in our court.
How will you play it?
Will you run ahead, lag behind or pursue with passion the path of God’s calling that leads to a victory?
I invite you to leave a comment, and share what you do to stay in step with your Instructor.