I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I feel like life has a stranglehold on my joy I don’t feel much like getting back up and in the game again. We’ve all had moments where we’ve felt like quitting. Whether our opponent has been our job, family, personal relationship, or difficult circumstance – we’ve all been kicked a few too many times. So, just get back up again….easier said than done!
I have spent a few of years as a Highschool Volleyball coach. I love playing volleyball and I love teaching…so this was a natural fit. I get to have a great time doing the sport I love and imparting some of that knowledge to young girls at the same time. One of the skills we often worked on was the fine art of “receiving.” Volleyball is a full contact sport. Not so much full contact with other people, but definitely with you and the floor. Here’s what I’d tell my team: When that serve comes in fast and low, or a hard hit is heading for you do 2 things:
1. Keep your eyes on the ball. Keep your focus.
When you keep you focus….keep your eyes on the goal….things work out better. I’d tell my girls…”Watch the ball from the time it leaves the server’s hand…” When you take your eyes off the ball you get disoriented and begin to doubt. “What if I can’t do this…what if it hurts…what if I can’t get there in time…what if….what if….” The “what if’s” will take you out of the game. Keep your eyes on the promise of a hopeful future. I love the verse in Jeremiah 29:11. “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” For us to continually strive to be more like Christ we need to keep our eyes focused on Him. And He’s our number #1 cheerleader. He wants nothing more than to see us successful.
2. Don’t be afraid to go to the floor. You’ve got to get in a position to make a good pass. Sometimes that involves hitting the deck.
You’ll not make a good volleyball player if you’re scared of going to the ground. We called it “making a move.” If you’re scared to go to the ground you’ll always play it safe and never be a truly great player. Going to the ground to get the ball is only half of the job. You’ve got to get back up as quickly as possible to get back in the game.
We’d spend a lot of time practicing how to “make a move.” Falling down isn’t really all that hard. Toddlers have perfected the skill. But it’s the technique, it’s how you hit the deck that makes the difference. There are skills to “falling down” that makes it easier to get back up. I think that’s what Jesus wants for us as well. We can not only be obedient to endure the circumstances (hitting the deck in some cases). But God also wants us to get back up with more hope and joy as we continually keep our eyes on Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve hit the deck…it just matters that you get back up again.
I love what Susie says on page 35. “At the point of our belief, we were given access to all of the provision protection, and promise we would ever need to win our battles. Satan would love to lead us into conflicts that we cannot win, but with Jesus at our side, we cannot lose. By His great wisdom He hides us when we shouldn’t fight, strengthens us when we should, and trains us for our next level of service.” How true this is. Hard times will come, conflict will happen, mean things will get said, feeling will get hurt, but we don’t have to live there. It’s time to get back up again and regain your focus. The game will continue and you’re not much value to your team if you stay on the ground.
When you’re ready, carry on to Part 2 of this weeks study. http://wp.me/pCteI-14
If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.
Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.
Have a great week!
Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Susie Larson entitled The Uncommon Woman.