yes, I continue my recently acquired relationship with this new, oddly named sport and it is growing on me. I mean, with a name like pickleball how high could my expectations be, anyway? This sport does involve a ball but the ball is not shaped like a pickle (that would be awkward). It is a green color however, so maybe that is the inspiration for the name. Although a tennis ball is the same green color and tennis wasn’t called pickleball. Maybe this is just one of those mysteries of the universe better left unsolved.
Now I must confess to you that pickleball really isn’t all that perilous, I just said that for dramatic effect. In fact, pickleball has far more pleasures than perils or pitfalls, which is probably why it is so popular. A combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton- pickleball has something for everyone. I think it is the ball that is the ‘pitfall’. The pickleball seems to have a mind of its own and doesn’t always go where I think it is going to go. It seems to delight in making me look foolish as I swing and miss it entirely.
But at this point I have another confession to make to you, dear readers. When I play pickleball I don’t wear my glasses! (and I don’t wear contacts) Neither my teammates nor my opponents are aware of this little known fact. Lately I have begin to ponder the question of just how much might my playing of pickleball improve if my vision was suddenly improved by simply wearing my glasses? Maybe it’s not the fickleness of the pickleball after all? Maybe it’s my lack of clear vision that has been clouding my perception and impacting my ability to play the game?
Kind of hard to hit a ball that I am not seeing clearly! No wonder my on court reactions to the approaching pickleball are off. Too slow, too quick, hit too hard, not hard enough, always off in some aspect. How could I have been so blind to this obvious fact? Not unlike my off the pickleball court experience with the situations and the people in my everyday life. I need to have clear vision in order to truly see circumstances and people as they are and interact with them based on this accurate assessment.
Now I am reminded of Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Some translations call the “plank” a beam or a log. But whatever it is called, the meaning is the same and it is not lost on me. I am playing pickleball with less than perfect vision and I am living my life with less than perfect vision as well. I view my current circumstances from my limited, earthly perspective because I do not have my Heavenly Father’s unlimited, eternal perspective from which to view them. I view those around me from an outward perspective rather than as 1 Samuel 16:7 tells me God sees them. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
My co-workers, friends, family have nothing to worry about. I will never see any specks that might or might not be in their eyes because I will never be “plank free” in my own eyes. I do however want to learn to see them as God sees them, His cherished children, created in His image. I want to learn to see with my heart. (It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint Exupery)
I want my heart to see clearly and in so doing to see the hearts of others, not just their outward appearance. My physical vision will get worse with age. But that doesn’t have to be the case for my faith’s vision. The eyes of my God given faith can get clearer and clearer the longer and the closer I walk in the ways of my Heavenly Father. So even as the one grows cloudy the other grows more clear.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.” (Psalm 119:18)
“Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:25)
“The Lord gives sight to the blind,” (Psalm 146:8)
Lord, give me eyes of faith, to see what You would show me and to follow where You would lead me. amen
sincerely, Grace Day
One thought on “pickleball-perils, pitfalls & pleasures”
You may not be seeing the pickle ball clearly…but your sight into the Bible and the teaching of Jesus is right on!