A Simple Lesson

Herein is my recent submission for the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference that earned first prize in the devotional category. (I edited the title.)

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ScriptureReading: Psalm 121: 1-8

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

A lovely, Russian woman teaches tennis near me. Her accent is thick, and often, I struggle to understand her teachings.

During a lesson with her not so long ago, I could not hit the ball correctly. That ball went everywhere but where I intended.

She shook her head and stopped the action, “No. No. No.

Scurrying to my side, she placed her hand beneath my chin and raised it slowly.

Then she spoke five simple words that changed my game and my outlook, “Up! You must look up!”

How simple? Yet, there I was, a seasoned tennis player who was missing the obvious. I was looking down. I wasn’t seeing the ball. To make matters worse, I realized I had been “looking down” in my daily life. I had adopted a defeated, downtrodden attitude, allowing life’s obstacles to weigh on me and obscure my vision.

That tennis lesson provided me more than I expected. I learned to play better in life by shifting my focus—to look up—to the Lord. Not only for His sustenance and guidance, but also for my self-worth.

Where does my help come from? I look up. My help comes from the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to shift my focus from the obstacles in this world to you, where I find safety, encouragement and truth. Amen.

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