Tennis: Tough Calls (Part 3)

Author: Dathan Tenter — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: July 12, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Tennis: Tough Calls (Part 3)

READ: PROVERBS 1:1-7; 1 CORINTHIANS 1:30; JAMES 1:5-8; 3:13-18

The ball was out, right? It all happened so fast that I couldn’t tell. Did it touch the line? I tried to replay it in my head, but the decision wasn’t becoming any clearer.

This was the biggest tennis game of the season. If we won, we would advance, but if we lost, the season would be over. Worse yet, I was playing doubles—which meant I had a teammate. My partner was staring at me. I looked back down at the line, wanting so badly to call it “out,” which would mean the other team wouldn’t get the winning point. I could feel the pressure from my partner, the anticipation from our opponents, and the sweat streaming down my temples. During one of our early season practices our coach had told us, “If it’s too close to call, then it’s in.” She said this was “proper tennis etiquette.” At that moment I despised her words. Why couldn’t it have been clear! I didn’t even care if the ball was in or out at this point! I just wanted it to be clear, but it wasn’t.

Only a couple seconds had passed while I processed all this. I clenched my racket with my right hand, and with my left, I pointed toward the ground, calling it “in.” The other team erupted with joy, and my partner extended a low five. Our season was over.

Sometimes in our spiritual walk, we find ourselves in situations where there is no clear answer. Following Jesus is full of right and wrong decisions, sure, but what do we do when we are unsure about the best course of action in a particular situation?

Scripture can help us in these uncertain moments. James 1:5 instructs us to ask God for wisdom and He will give it. Likewise, the book of Proverbs is full of short phrases that provide some guidelines for us to live by. And if we spend time reflecting on the Bible’s proverbs, we might find their wisdom is more relatable and applicable than we expect! But sometimes, following Proverbs doesn’t always work out the way we want it to—just look at the book of Job. Job lived a righteous life, and he still lost everything. Yet even then, we can trust Jesus, who is God’s perfect wisdom made flesh, to walk with us through the ambiguity, sustaining us with His love and covering our faults with His mercy. • Dathan Tenter

• Have you ever been in a high-pressure situation where you weren’t sure what the right answer was?

• Who are wise people in your life? How could they help you learn to walk in God’s wisdom?

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 (NLT)