Are you giving it your all?

February 22, 2011 | 5 comments

I learned another valuable lesson for life in a tennis tournament last weekend.

I was called last minute to team with a woman in mixed doubles who needed a partner.

During our first match together, we breezed through the first set winning 6-1. No problem, we thought. We have this down. But the second set wasn’t so easy. We lost 4-6. Then we continued our downward streak losing the 3rd set tie-break.

It was a fun match, and I traditionally shed any feeling of loss instantly in such cases knowing that what I gained spiritually was most important, not the final score.

But a bit of grief over the loss did not leave me. It hung on for hours. And I began to wonder why.

The next morning I realized my disappointment was not over losing the match, but over not putting in my ALL in the second set.

After the match, my partner and I agreed that we had slacked off in the second set because the first set was won so handily. And we relaxed just enough to let our opponents turn the match in their favor.

Aw, I thought, this is the spiritual lesson. A winner puts in their ALL.

I remembered Paul’s statement about “running the race.”

He wrote, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (I Cor. 9).

I hadn’t “run to win.” I had failed to put in my ALL. And that’s not a winning strategy. That’s what losers do.

I didn’t want to be a loser.

And again, it’s not about the points. It’s about the mind-set, the attitude one carries in his work.

It’s a rule that certainly applies to success in Christian Science. Jesus Christ expected 100% out of his students. He did not allow for 95% or 80% or 25%. He demanded 100% love and devotion to God. Mary Baker Eddy expected the same out of her pupils.

My grief disappeared. I knew what I had to do. I had another match that afternoon, and I was now committed to putting in my ALL no matter what. No slacking off, no taking success for granted, no idle thoughts.

We played that afternoon and handily won 6-1, 6-0. No problem. The next match though was against a very experienced couple with a strong track record.

We lost, barely, in a 3rd set tie-break. But I did not feel one tiny bit of disappointment. Not a speck. I felt triumphant, glorious, super happy, because I had put in my ALL. And I had prayed staunchly throughout the match to be sure I was putting in my ALL. And I felt fabulous at the end for being faithful.

Our opponents were tough. They were good. They earned the victory in score, but I earned an even greater victory, knowledge that when you truly put in your ALL and give it everything you’ve got, you can walk off court feeling truly victorious regardless of the final points.

Are you putting in your ALL today?

5 thoughts on “Are you giving it your all?”

  1. Once again, this is so appropriate! Three years ago, I was able to still my mind, I was full of confidence and energy and was able to win every interview I went on, so that I could select between the companies that wanted me.

    Now, three years later, the contract ended, I’m unemployed, three years older, and three years of un-expanded skill sets for my field and I find myself with fears and doubts and am repeatedly crushed by getting interviews after sending over my resume and samples. Ouch. So I have been grappling with this this morning as another “sorry, but they don’t want to pursue you” email came in from a recruiter. Wow! I went from being at the top of my game to the bottom. But I am beginning to see the mental error here. I had little “ah-ha” moments this earlier this morning of what I’ve actually been holding in my thought in the background. (I’m too old; I’m too tired; I don’t know if I want to do this anymore; I’m middle aged with no insurances, no savings, no 401k, no retirement, actually, not even enough to make the current bills.) Recognizing what’s running in the background is the beginning of correcting it. Then I just got that rejection email and felt the burning disappointment of that. But then I have just read your article and it all fits. I haven’t been giving it my ALL this time.

    I have some confusion between giving my ALL to Spirit and giving my ALL to the job front. And yet there is no difference is there? Maybe you can help me with this one.

    Thank you.

  2. Above, it’s supposed to read: “and am repeatedly crushed by not getting interviews after sending over my resume and samples.

  3. To give your all is to give your all. If we are slack in some part of our life, we’re likely being dishonest about something. We aren’t committed, or don’t care, or…??? that isn’t quite right. So, we have to be super honest about our motives and intents, get rid of the dishonesty, get right with God and then we’re free to Give it our all!

  4. Thank you. I’d really like to dig a little deeper here. I live a very simple minimal life but I can see how the motive/intent is just to have a happy life and be able to pay the bills – that sounds fairly superficial and a bit desperate. Perhaps that is the dishonesty. There is obviously something more I need to see.
    Shall I will let this marinate a while or may I call you and set up an appointment?

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