I stood on the sidelines of the asphalt court, baked by the hot summer sun. The volley of balls back and forth across the net mesmerized me. I ran to collect scattered balls and threw them back to my mom when she signaled for one. The release of the ball at the right time accounted for a perfect serve. Feet placed just so kept your body in the correct position to receive the ball when it sailed across the net. My desire was to learn how to play tennis like my mom.
My mom displayed such self-control when playing tennis. Patience in the waiting, and the willingness to release her body to the place where the ball would land, allowed her to become a great tennis player. And I learned a beautiful lesson of releasing control at just the right time while watching my mom play: life is easier when we don’t hold on so tightly that we cannot let go of what God is more than willing to carry. So if tennis is a metaphor for life, how do we release our knuckle-tight grip on our past, present, and future? Doesn’t God promise to love, provide, and walk with us no matter what?
Life is filled with seasons of waiting. Periods of time where we learn to release the mess and posture our hearts toward God. Time when we lack control. But in that season, where nothing seems to be happening, God is preparing us in ways we can’t see. Hope becomes our mantra in the tension and God is where we try to focus our eyes. His word calls us to wait with our whole being:
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
I find that when I release my mess in the waiting, who I am becomes better defined. God meets me in my reality and waits for my invitation. All it takes is for me to posture my heart toward receiving and desiring for God to sit awhile with me.
If the game of tennis is waiting for the perfect time and posture to successfully hit the ball, then life mirrors this in our seasons of waiting. It’s knowing it’s okay when the ball does not make it back across the net. It’s holding onto the hope of God when life looks nothing like we imagined.
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May hope become your mantra and God the focus of your heart as you posture yourself toward Him to set yourself up for His beautiful plan.