Tag Archives: tennis

Vulnerable

Carl is beginning to pipe up and has started that annoying howl that has gotten him in lots of trouble in the recent past. I am not sure why he has started to make this obnoxious noise except that he wants my attention. For the last couple of days, I have been very attentive towards his needs and today was totally different.

With winter weather that has kept us house bound, Carl has enjoyed the knowledge of having a back rub or sitting on a human’s lap.  Every day has been spent either sleeping or trying to get my attention. But these last couple of days Carl has realized that his human mother is not herself.

If any of you out there have turned 50, you know the right of passage that you are faced with.  The dreaded colonoscopy. Every ten years, each of us over 50 are confronted with not only the procedure but the prep that comes with it. I am not going into specifics but I can tell you that this process has lengthened and gotten a little more complicated.

Instead of just one day of prep, the new process includes four days of a low fiber diet which is totally different from the diet that I would have predicted. After eating carbs and bread for four days, the day prior to the procedure I was confronted with a liquid diet that ended with 64 ounces of Gatorade and Miralax.

I haven’t fasted in a while and wondered how I would handle a day without food. For someone who doesn’t want to miss a meal, how would my attitude be when I had to go without?  Around 1:00 in the afternoon, I was beginning to feel the effects of having nothing on my stomach. I could tell that my irritable attitude was rising up from within.

This is when I tried to consume my thoughts with distractions from the Australian Open and later with the NFL playoffs. I was feeling a little vulnerable with the knowledge that I had a ways to go and knew that my stomach wasn’t going to be satisfied for at least another 24 hours.

As I reflect over this experience, a verse in Matthew 17 keeps coming up.  Jesus had just been up to the mountain where He, Moses, and Elijah were transfigured in the presence of several of his disciples. Once He comes back down to the people, He is instantly confronted by a man that desperately wants his son to be healed from a demon.

The man tells Jesus that several of his disciples tried to heal the boy but couldn’t. It was clear the disciples thought they could, but were unable to. When asked by them why the boy couldn’t be healed, Jesus tells them, “However this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Prayer and fasting. Why would God want us to fast? Being without food caused me to feel vulnerable. I didn’t feel as in control as I usually do. It is in this state of mind that we can go to God and have a better perspective of who He is. While fasting, I felt weak which made God strong.

As the day went on, Carl could tell that I wasn’t myself and gave me my space. But that evening, when I was at my weakest, I looked over at our little pooch and found him in a prayer stance. I could only smile and thank God for the lessons He has taught me through this little dog.IMG_2906

No Matter the Circumstances

The tennis match didn’t go as expected. My first thought when I walked onto the court centered on the knee brace that my opponent was wearing. Pride had seeped into my soul after winning several recent matches pretty easily. This match should be similar and I would be ready to go home in no time at all.

Was I ever wrong!  I felt like I was hitting against a backboard. Every time I would hit a ball to my opponent’s backhand, she would return it cross court. When I hit a short ball, she would take advantage of it and hit an angle shot that I was unable to reach.

The first set went back and forth until we finally reached 6-6 and had to play a tie breaker. The first person who reached 7 with a two point span won. She was up 6-5 when she hit a ball that barely touched the outside of the baseline. From her body language, it was clear she thought it was out. I gave it only a brief thought when I yelled across the court, “Your ball was in.  Good play.”

I knew in my heart of hearts that knowing the ball was in and not calling it would nag at my soul. Over the years, I have realized that losing a tennis match was something I could live with. On the other hand, knowing the truth and not speaking it was like stating a bold face lie. That was something that would eat at my heart and for far longer than the loss of a game.

My thoughts through the second set were similar to the game we were playing. As a ball goes back and forth across the net, my thoughts went from negative to positive time and time again. After losing the first two games of the set, I started feeding myself positive thoughts and talking out loud to boost my confidence. Before long the set was over with me winning 6-2.

Now we had to play a tie breaker to see who would win the match.  Again, we rallied back and forth running each other to all parts of the court. At one time she was ahead 7-6. I knew that I needed to go up to the net more but I have never felt comfortable being there. Each of the next couple of points, I pushed myself to move my body closer and closer to the net waiting for the high ball to smash down in the corner for a winner. It was only the last point of the game, that I had found just the right loopy ball to use my overhead shot to put it away.

I can’t say that I learn a lot of lessons every time I go out onto the tennis court but this time, I definitely did. I am glad that I won but I am not sure if I would have been too upset if I had lost this particular match. I felt the key to my success was keeping my mind positive and clear of all negativity. But most of all I learned that there is power in the truth no matter the circumstances.