I play tennis. I love tennis. One week during one of my regularly-scheduled tennis dates where a group of twelve of us had filled three courts, I noticed two men who occupied a court at the far end. The beauty and finesse with which those two players performed astounded me. I could barely concentrate on my game because I could not take my eyes off of them. They maneuvered around the courts with speed and skill. They laughed and shouted words of encouragement. They played hard. So why the distraction? These two men were confined to wheelchairs. All the other players around me kept playing. It was as if they didn’t even notice. I, on the other hand, fought back tears the entire time. Perhaps it was because I was facing a struggle in my mind at the time. I wrestled with negative thoughts, some inspired by others and some I adopted throughout my life, interpretations that might not be true, but I thought they were. And yet here I stood watching two men who had a very real and obvious challenge to overcome. They wanted to play tennis, but they could not walk. However, neither allowed this to stop them. Many of us are guilty of allowing others to tell us we can’t. Sometimes, we even tell ourselves we can’t because…[fill in the blank]. You have your excuses, and I have mine. Ultimately, I am responsible for what I do about those excuses, and so are you. After my match concluded, my fellow players left. I stayed. I sat on a bench and watched those two men. I cried. At first, I cried tears of regret, but then they turned to tears of hope. I wanted to be like those two men. During one of the breaks in the guys’ match, I approached them. I introduced myself and thanked them for being an inspiration to me, for giving me hope. We had a great chat that day on the court. They reminded me that we all have obstacles, some seen and some unseen, but if you really want to do something you need to take action. Every time I want to give up on my dreams because the road is too hard or the journey isn’t as planned, I remember those two gentlemen. They didn’t accept that they couldn’t. They chose to try. And not only did they try, they succeeded. What have you been hiding from? Is there something you have always been called to do, but you haven’t pursued out of fear or thinking you can’t? Now is the time to take action and pursue your calling. As these men showed me, that old saying is true: Where there is a will, there is a way!
Published by Darla S. Grieco
After first being published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Miracles in Feb. 2015, Darla began writing for the fiction and non-fiction markets. She enjoys sharing stories of hope, faith and redemption. When she is not writing, Darla spends time with her husband and four children, plays tennis and manages the family business. View more posts