June 14, 2021

And now for the rest of the softball story: When I read the email last week from my friend who was going to the gym to keep working at her batting, I replied that she’d inspired me by her perseverance. Remembering my time back at Penn State as a Health and Physical Education student, I closed my email with some advice I’d heard and taken to heart as a student athlete, “Keep your eye on the ball, and imagine yourself hitting the ball where you want it to go (in my friend’s case just over the infielders).”

I was drawing on a lesson learned on the tennis court. I had a sporadic tennis serve, hitting the ball into the net or powering it well beyond the back line of the service box. One of my teachers told me about mental rehearsal, imagining myself serving the ball into the box, not imagining myself hitting it into the net or overshooting the box. It didn’t make me a star tennis player, but it did help me to be more consistent. I was simply passing that lesson on to my friend.  And guess what? It worked!

The Bible suggests a similar kind of mental rehearsal for our spiritual life. The Message Translation, Hebrews 12:2 goes this way, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.” 

My friend’s team is called the “Why Nots” and I love the attitude that name implies. It is easy for me to get busy and distracted and neglect to focus on the spiritual practices that grow my faith and keep me grounded. Why not go to my spiritual gym, keep my eyes on Jesus and never lose sight of where I am headed?

Why not? Today’s a good day to give it a try ~ Anne

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