Tissues, Tennis, & Time

Sniffle, sniffle, AAACHOOOO! Seasonal allergies (and buying tissues in bulk) have descended on our household. My three-year-old granddaughter, sniffling and coughing, said, “Daddy, can I have more medicine?”

“No, you just had some. You’ll have to wait a while to have more.”

“But, Daddy, it’s not in my mouth anymore.” Her enormous green eyes grew hopeful. Daddy wasn’t taken in by them. He did his best to explain that it takes a while for the medicine to get from her mouth to the parts of her body that need it. She didn’t look particularly satisfied with his explanation but accepted it and skipped off to see what mischief she could get into.

Her words stuck with me. There are so many times in my life I want immediate results. I did the thing I was supposed to do, so why has nothing happened? I didn’t eat any candy today, why haven’t I lost ten pounds? I read my Bible today, why do I still do wrong things? I prayed about a problem, why hasn’t God answered? Why did I come in this room—oops, that’s different.

I’ve been watching Wimbledon this week—that’s the oldest tennis tournament in the world which takes place in Wimbledon, England, for those who don’t follow tennis. I saw some great tennis this week from the best players in the world. Not just anyone is able to play at this level. It takes practice, training, coaching, learning, and time. After beating an outstanding young player, the winning, veteran player said, “You’re going to win championships.” These two men battled, each winning two sets before the final set was played to determine the outcome of the match. The hours spent on Center Court pushed the young player in every way. He grew today and moved closer to being a champion.

The same principles apply to my daily, non-professional-athlete life. I need to keep studying my Bible to increase my knowledge and grow in my faith and move closer to being more like Jesus. Learning and applying God’s Word will challenge me but will achieve the results I want my life to reflect. And I’ll keep praying, trusting that God’s timing and answers are better than my own. My patience and trust may be tested, but I will persevere in prayer. And I hope to learn to be content in whatever circumstance comes my way. I’ll even keep eating a healthy diet, trying to care for my body the best I can. As far as forgetting why I entered a certain room…not likely that’s going to improve. Some things you just have to accept.

Like the young tennis player, I will fall short of my goals at times. But each time, there is something I will learn which will make me better. And I will keep striving to win the prize, no matter how long it takes. And like my little granddaughter, I’ll just go off and find some mischief to get into while waiting.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

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