In a Pickle

#inspiration, attitude, sportOver the past year or so I’ve been hearing quite a bit about a sport called pickleball. Some of you may be familiar with it but until recently it was new to me.

I was intrigued to hear this promoted as a game for all ages and fitness levels and wanted to learn more.

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It can be played as singles or doubles. I was never good at tennis but enjoyed badminton and table tennis so this may be a possibility for me. When I learned the court is half the size of a tennis court, I was even more interested.

My husband and I went to watch someone we knew play in a tournament. A game or two stretched into several hours as we enjoyed observing and learning from this game.

Some of what I saw on the court would serve me well in life. While each team wanted to win, they didn’t take themselves too seriously. We would hear joking and encouragement and not criticism when someone made a mistake. A positive attitude and support for their partner made the difference between stress and enjoyment. I know this in my head, but the visual reminder was appreciated.

The players were scrupulously honest. They would call errors on themselves, even though it meant a point for the other team or loss of the game. It didn’t matter if anyone else had seen the fault or not. Integrity such as this is something I strive to be known for.

During the tournament, we saw teams that had been eliminated now cheering for the team that had defeated them. The sportsmanship and values portrayed convinced me that no matter my athletic ability, being in this kind of a pickle is a very positive thing.

Rules of the Game

#Jesus, #inspiration, BibleI have happy memories of playing card games and board games. This enjoyment of games was passed on first to my children and now to my grandchildren.

Recently I pulled out a board game that had been neglected for many years. Nine year-old Emily and ten year-old Logan were excited to play a game their mom had played as a girl.

It had been so long since I’d played Big Deal that I had to learn the rules all over again. Fortunately they were printed inside the lid of the box so we had guidelines to follow. There were more rules than I remembered and it was easy to get confused and forget some of them.

We decided to start anyway and learn as we went. Many mistakes were made and I was grateful for understanding grandchildren.  They asked lots of questions and waited for me to look up the answers. The rules were always beside me and they let us know how to play and how to win.

Life also comes with a rule book.  It’s called the Bible.  Jesus came to show the joy and peace found through following God’s laws. He demonstrated how to play by the rules in order to win the prize of everlasting life.

I still sometimes struggle with or forget some of the rules. Jesus is always beside me to instruct me as I go along. He is the one who makes it possible to play by the rules and win at the game of life.

If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. (James 1:5 GWT)