Everyone has something that they like to do when they get stressed or need a break from the daily grind.  Knitting, crafting, reading, drawing, writing, sports, and on and on.  My stress reliever used to be writing on this blog.  It was my moment in time where I could disappear from real life for a few moments and just let the words spill out of my fingers.

I used to write every day.  During the time I was writing, I felt like I had very little stress in my life and I had a complete understanding of things going on around me to where I wasn’t bothered by a busy schedule or scheduled meetings.  But, since I’ve quit writing so much, I don’t really have much of anything to relieve stress.

I’m not a writer.  You can argue with me all you want, but I did not go to school to write, I never kept a diary, I didn’t journal, and I hated English/Writing/Lit. classes in school.  This was something I decided to do to allow myself to heal from the past, gush about my present and daydream about my future.  But it became so much more than that.  This became a way that I felt I could reach people who needed to hear the words of Christ.  I was tying in the Bible to events that were happening into my life.

But, before I blogged, I played tennis.  I would lace up the shoes, lather on the sunscreen and hit the hot courts.  When I stood on the base line, the only thing there was me, the net, the bag of tennis balls and my racquet.  My focus was placed on the back corner of the square kiddy-corner across the net from where I was standing and was taken off everything that was so “bad” or “wrong” in my life.

Toss the ball up, watch it fall, and POP!  (Those of you who have played know the sound I’m talking about.)  The sound was so relaxing but there was only so much that hitting a ball alone could do.  It gets some tension out but then you have to walk around and pick up the balls and start over.

However, game time arrives and you now have someone to return the ball to you.

Judge their position.  Predict their move.  Take aim.  Toss the ball up.  Watch it fall.  POP!

Game on.

The ball gets returned back to your side and so the back-and-forth battle begins.

Our faith is much like tennis.  Alone, we can put on the façade that we are something strong; something to be feared.  We can serve up prayers and verses.  We can judge what would happen if someone were on the other side of the net.  We can do all these things, but it only gets us so far.

Bring in someone on the other side.  (I won’t use the word competitor because that’s not what faith is about.)  You now have someone to bounce the “ball” back and forth.  You have someone to challenge you.  You have someone to help build you skills.

We can have faith.  We can talk about it.  But it’s a whole different ball game when it is put into play.

We can’t minister to others, we can’t encourage others to grow, and we can’t expect Him to help us if the game is one-sided.

Last year, M took up the interest in tennis.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled when she told me.  I expected her to know a little bit about it (since the basic basics are self-explanatory) but I was quick to learn that she was building up from ground zero.

Her aim is off, her skills are underdeveloped, she didn’t like to practice, but her enthusiasm is spot on.  It reminds me so much of my relationship with Christ.  I try to live a life that He wants us all to live; but human emotions take over and I fail.  I fall short of His glory.  I try to indulge myself in prayer and daily readings; but the schedule gets tight and to even find a few spare minutes to actually sit, read, ponder, and enact is difficult.  But my love for Him and my desire to grow in Him is so strong that sometimes I feel like I could shatter.  My focus (aim), my skills and my discipline all need work, but my excitement to be called a child of God is overflowing!

Starting next week, I’m going to try to write more.  My life is busy; I’m a wife, a mother, a student, an employee, and an individual.  But I need to start making time for Him in my life again; even if it is by blogging and saying a quick prayer.

He’s died for my sins and forgiven them all.  He outstretched His hands towards me and placed the “ball” in my court.

Game on.

8 years have passed since I've put on the uniform.
8 years have passed since I’ve put on the uniform.

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