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.)


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.

4 responses to “A Simple Lesson”

  1. Proud of you! Advice we need through this life, constantly! I had a friend remind me yesterday- KEEP LOOKING UP

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Linda. WagnerMelinchak Avatar
    Linda. WagnerMelinchak

    Beautiful lesson and true words! Love your readings!


  3. Hi Darla,
    Did we meet during the conference? Not sure. I read a devotional from my book.
    Your devotional here is so interesting! I love the analogy.
    A few years ago, I wrote a devotional about mobility training (cane training) where my instructor told me to look up, too and let my cane find the obstacles.
    If we haven’t met yet, so nice to meet you.
    We obviously have a love for devotionals in common!


    1. Hi Amy:
      Yes, I shared a meal with you an Aimee one day–can’t remember which day or which meal, but lovely meeting you.

      And I couldn’t agree more, trust the tools you have to do the work they are supposed to and you do what you’re supposed to. Another great lesson!

      Have a blessed day,


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