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FootballScoreBoard

We are doing an excellent Bible study on Sunday mornings
called, “When the Game’s Over, It All Goes Back in the Box.” The session this
week was about score keeping. In a God-incidence, the teacher, John Ortberg,
talked about the game of tennis being won in our minds.

This weekend I started getting nervous thinking about
playing in the tennis league again today. I practiced serving over and over on
Saturday and felt like I would be hopeless come Monday morning! I realized in
Bible study that my problem is I never stop keeping score. I constantly compare
myself to others and end up feeling like a superior winner or like an inferior
loser.

I’m afraid I’m not alone in my score-keeping habit. My Facebook
news list is more than halfway filled with people’s game scores. I started off
making a list of all the ways we compete, but I can’t really think of any way
we don’t? Can you?  It’s good-natured
fun, but even when I scrapbook in a group, we compare how many pages we’ve
completed! The problem with score-keeping is it feeds our pride, even if we suffer
for comparison. The emphasis in competition is always on “me.”

This morning I was determined to be anxiety-free playing
tennis. I was reassured reading an online article about the mental game of
tennis that explained improvement. It seems we often expect tennis mastery to
proceed in a linear fashion when like so many other things, it involves steps
backward and plateaus. I also considered my thoughts about playing. I realized
that the world wouldn’t come to an end if I double faulted every game. The
ladies wouldn’t hate me because I would pull all their scores down equally. I
also decided to have fun. After all, that’s why I had joined the league. Not so
I could claim “best player of the league” status. Who would really care?

So how did I rate? I didn’t win any more games than I won
last week, but I had so much more fun. I wasn’t nervous and noticed that no one
else was serving with blazing speed. I also realized that I was a real boost to
the other ladies’ egos. I’m sure it made the 81-year-old and the
just-had-brain-surgery woman feel great that they could beat a younger gal like
me.  At least I earned a bonus: a good
old-fashioned dose of humility.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain
conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

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