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?