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Australian Open Tennis 2009

January 23, 2009

I mentioned last year when I posted about the Australian Open Tennis tournament that I find lots of parallels between sport and the spiritual life. This year I’m wondering what part self belief plays in the mental strength of players.

I find it painful when a player suffers from a lack of self belief. For example, Samantha Stosur was playing Serena Williams in a warm up tournament. Stosur served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, and was up 40-0 before surrendering her serve with two unforced errors and a double fault. She also lost the next two games and therefore the match. It was hard to watch. Tonight she is playing Elena Dementieva which is going to be tough for her. I don’t mind if she loses as long as she doesn’t cave in. (Of course, on the other hand, there are good tennis players who have so much self belief that it becomes arrogance, which isn’t pleasant to watch either.)

In Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell writes about God knowing what we are capable of, yet so often we lack belief in God’s calling on our lives. God is often like the coach on the sidelines saying, “keep going, play on, go for it, you can do it” and we’ve got a handful of match points but doubt we can win. Jesus often said to his disciples, “O you of little faith”, I wonder how often he says it to us?

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith