Keep your eye on the ball

April 30, 2007 | 4 comments

We did it!

My USTA team placed number one in our division this weekend, and the whole gang is excited about advancing to districts competition a month from now. Hooray!

As any of my regular readers know, winning the highest score has never been my primary goal in playing tennis. Conquering fears, defeating doubts and overcoming beliefs of limitation has been my motivating factor.

My single most significant spiritual accomplishment this weekend was the death knell of my lifelong fear that I could not succeed in anything sports related.

I won my second USTA singles match Saturday afternoon, and walked off the court calm as could be. No more boom, boom, boom, heart problems during play like the day before during my first match, which I blogged about last. Yea!

During the game, I prayed to stay in the moment. I refused to let my mind wander onto other subjects other than hitting the ball well, placing it well, and getting ready for the next shot. Live in the moment! Live in the “spiritual moment,” of I can express the right qualities here. I declared.

I love this lesson that I’ve learned from playing tennis because it’s so appropriate for effective prayer.

In prayer, too, we must live in the moment—focus on what is spiritually true in the instant we’re in. We cannot let out attention wander into the future and idly entertain questions like, “When will I get well?” or “I wonder how this healing is going to happen?”

If we’re thinking in the future, we’re not praying in the present. We’re wasting time and losing valuable opportunity to effect the healing immediately. We delay healing, and even sabotage it, by dwelling in a fictional tomorrow rather than in the immediate spiritual truth.

For example, when playing tennis, if my mind ever wanders into the future or onto other subjects, I miss the ball when it comes zooming at me. Or, I’m not prepared to hit the ball well and I slam it into the net or hit it out of bounds.

To play tennis well you have to focus on the ball, or you keep missing your shots and performing shoddily.

Effective prayer is the same way. You can’t let your mind roam off the truth you’re demonstrating. You must stay focused until the truth is fully realized. Then fruit is borne—healing happens.

How often have you heard in sports, “Keep your eye on the ball?!!!”

The same rule applies to spiritual treatment; “Keep your mental eye on Truth!!!” And don’t get distracted. Then you’ll hit your shots more accurately, place the ball where it needs to be, and be ready for the next shot. You’ll be a winner.

And who knows, you might even win a tournament now and then!

(picture-walking off of court after my first singles victory)


4 thoughts on “Keep your eye on the ball”

  1. Evan, thanks again for sharing your spiritual tennis journey……..focus on the moment, the spiritual moment is super advice…..fear tries to distract us (me) to the future what ifs but as you said one step at a time…… ball at a time is a great image……..thank you again

  2. Hooray for you!!!! You’ve given me courage. I am SO tired of hearing the server say to me — from across the beach volley ball net — “Are you ready, weak spot?”

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