When I was in high school, my dad and I liked to play tennis together from time to time. Neither of us was really good, but we enjoyed hitting the ball back and forth and getting a good workout. I was glad to find a tennis partner in college. Rick played tennis for his high school team so he was much better than me. He was a good sport and played with me anyway when we had the chance. I can still remember the last time we played tennis together back then. It was over 24 years ago – I was pregnant with Bethany and it was a LOT harder to get my body to move around on the court being 8 months pregnant. I was pretty discouraged because I thought I should still be able to do everything I wanted to ;).
Then life happened and I did not have the chance to play tennis again for a very long time. Having one and then two little kids along with being in medical school and then residency made it hard for us to find time to play. Then we moved to Jordan where our options to play were even more limited. Two years ago, Rick gave me 2 tennis rackets for Christmas but I didn’t take the opportunity to use them until about a month ago. I admit that I was concerned that I had forgotten how to hit, that I’d be horrible, and that it would be no fun at all.
We joined a new small group at our church this fall, and I learned that one of the ladies in our group is a very good tennis player. I asked her if she would be willing to hit some balls with me even though I hadn’t played in over 24 years and would be very rusty. She was gracious and agreed to do it (thank you, Mary S.!). I was surprised to find out that I hadn’t forgotten how to play and we had a really good time (or at least I did – Mary had to put up with my very amateur tennis skills).
A couple days ago, I decided to ask Rick to go out to play with me. What follows are some thoughts I had while we were playing that I wanted to share with y’all:
- I was thankful that Rick and I have a lot more grace for one another than we did back then and are both much less competitive. Our time playing tennis was much more enjoyable than I remember our times back then to be
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3
2. I was thankful that God created our bodies to work in such a way that we can do so much without having to really think about it. Muscle memory is an amazing thing! We can still hit pretty well after all this time without really having to think much about it.
For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
3. I was thankful that we didn’t get injured. We are not spring chickens any more; our bodies don’t cooperate with the speed or agility that they used to.
We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:14-16
4. I was thankful that almost anything we do in life can be turned into an opportunity to praise God and experience His presence. Every time I hit a good shot, I spontaneously prayed, “Thank You, Lord for helping me do that”.
There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it. Brother Lawrence
5. I was thankful for the weather in Knoxville, where it can be 70 degrees and sunny in the middle of November, a perfect day for playing tennis
Knoxville is in a temperate climate zone. The summers are always green and gentle. The fall color is truly magnificent as hills light up in brilliant autumn hues. Winter is brief and mild. Spring arrives early and stays for a long time, featuring glorious dogwoods, azaleas and other beautiful flowers. http://www.knoxvilletennessee.com
6. I was thankful for the reminder of the sermon preached at our wedding. Pastor John spoke about how going from being single to being married is similar to going from playing singles to playing doubles tennis. The mindset and approach are different with a partner, your focus changes, and cooperation and communication are key to succeeding.
I am thankful for all of you who have read this far and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Kul sani wa intu salmiin!