The tennis team needed help. A lot of help. They desperately needed more players, and that’s why they asked me to join. I had never even held a tennis racquet before my first practice! Some of the rules of the game came pretty easy. Possessing what I would call an average amount of hand-eye coordination, I was able to pick up the general game play. I understood “hit the ball over the net” and “keep the ball within the lines.”
But some things about tennis just didn’t make sense to me. The first day of practice my friend yelled from across the net, “Love, love!” Before I could say, “Love you too, bro,” he smacked the ball and it screamed past me! What just happened? He explained that “love” means zero, so “love, love” (zero, zero) was the score. That’s weird, I thought to myself as I nodded.
He yelled, “Fifteen, love,” and fired another shot! Pretty confused, I asked how he had fifteen points already. Walking up to the net he said, “One point equals fifteen, two points equals thirty, three points equals forty, and four points equals game!” He continued, “Six games win a set, and two or three sets wins a match. Got it?” Still confused, I stuttered, “I think so?” As he rambled on with some other terms and concepts about the game I didn’t understand, my attention shifted to staring at my uneven shoelaces. This was going to be a little harder than I realized.
Learning to play tennis reminds me of starting our journey with Jesus. Believing in the gospel and putting our trust in Jesus is filled with excitement and newfound hope! But sometimes discouragement can creep in when we encounter terms we don’t understand or new biblical truths that seem difficult to live out. But Jesus said in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” Even better than a friend explaining the game of tennis, we have the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, guiding us and helping us understand God’s love and how to live in relationship with God and others (Ephesians 3:18-19). And God has also given us His people, the church, to walk alongside us. We are not alone on this journey. • Dathan Tenter
• As we seek to understand the gospel and how it affects every part of our lives, God welcomes our questions. What questions do you have about the Bible, church, or following Jesus?
• No matter how long we’ve been walking with Jesus, we will always have questions. And that’s a good thing! We can bring these questions to God in prayer anytime. In addition to talking to God, who is someone in your life who can help you with these questions?
We ask God…to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 (NLT)