I am not into playing sports at all, but I certainly like to watch them on the television or in person. Sunday I watched an amazing soccer match (or as some of you call it – futball) between the United States women’s team and Japan. I was amazed by the athleticism portrayed by these women, the shear force the ball was kicked, the saves, the great kick over the goalie into the net. Across the sea, a tennis tournament is being played – Wimbledon. Yesterday, the top seeded men’s player, Novak Djokovic, dramatically rallied back from two sets down to the 14th seed player Kevin Anderson to tie the match – until darkness suspended the game for the day.
Sports can be a lot like life. Especially tennis. It contains errors. Oftentimes many. But errors and mistakes are part of life. We are not perfect. We can learn from our mistakes and overcome them and always strive to be better.
Tennis also takes mental toughness. Losing your focus and confidence can be devastating during a match. Many times we face life with our body armor on, constantly being attacked by the enemy. Remaining focused and full of confidence can help us win our daily battles.
Tennis is also never over until it’s over. Tell that to Kevin Anderson – up two sets to none, on his way to a possible upset. Sometimes it goes down to the final game of the last set before the winner is determined. Never give up if you encounter setbacks in life.
In sports, someone will lose. Last year in the Australian Open, the number one seeded woman in the tournament, Serena Williams, lost her match. She was upset. Big time. It broke a 25 match winning streak. But Serena bounced back. And fought. And her perseverance paid off as she took home her 6th Australian Open title by winning the tournament this year.
Sometimes we lose in life. Sometimes we get beaten down. Big time. Sometimes life disappoints us. Sometimes the devil seems to take us to that final game of the last set and we desire to just give up.
The Apostle Paul found himself in the final game of the last set. As he was approaching death he wrote said these words:
“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Keep fighting the fight, never give up, finish the race and take home the prize.