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The Lost Champion


 

As one who played tennis for many years and watched championships for decades, I must say I have never seen one like yesterday’s Women’s final at the US Tennis Open.

 In any sport there are rules and regulations. There are contentious moments and days of grandeur but in the end the cliché that “it’s not about winning, but how you play the game,” still holds true.

In the past, players would rant and rave, scream at umpires and throw rackets. Some more than others depending on their temperaments. They displayed themselves in questionable performances or meltdowns of anger and hurt. Often they were cited for violations and sometimes fined as they should be. These outbursts of emotions from top seeded tennis pros would draw crowds filling stadiums to witness such shows of passionate athleticism but it doesn’t excuse their behavior.

Sadly, it has become the victimization of players who get offended by umpire calls and cited for their blistering tirades on the court that screams at the validity of the game. Calling into question are also the umpires who have personal issues with certain players along with whether or not they nitpick rules in different matches. The job is one that comes with recognition but should be scrutinized carefully. Umpires should be fair to all.

Bias of sportscasters of one athlete over all the other players has become as bad as the media in politics.  It only adds to the fury of hate and the loss of the Champion in waiting; and that was definitely the case these last 2 weeks.

 Of course there are discriminating facts between the sexes. It isn’t right, but shouldn’t be given into the debate of one player over another simply because of their accomplishments, fame and fortune. No one is above the rules especially as technology today can reveal exact spots the tennis ball lands and film crews can video tape unauthorized activities of those involved with the players during a match.

Everyone is responsible for how they act on and off the court. In this day and time the authors of entitlement have declared war on others because they believe they deserve to be treated differently and receive that which doesn’t belong to them, no matter what. That goes for players, coaches and umpires alike.

Forget competition as an incentive; the master of greed and offense has taken over.

What started out as an exciting, and anticipated great Championship match ended up being all about victimization that literally stole the greatest moment in a 20 year old girl’s life.

As she stood on the sidelines waiting and watching, her years of hard work and labor were swept under the rug of a diminished culture set on an “it’s all about me” syndrome. Tears streaming down her face should have been tears of joy for becoming the first Japanese woman to ever win a Grand Slam tournament. Instead they were tears overshadowed by shameful disputes that should have been determined peacefully and quickly to the point of being settled off the court in private even if the match needed to be paused.

 

As an American citizen and one who loves the game of tennis Naomi, I apologize that you were exposed to such reprehensible inefficiency.  The USTA needs some strong lessons in court management so that this kind of disorganization never happens again.

I commend and congratulate you, Naomi Osaka for your mature, quiet and graceful conduct in the midst of a tumultuous scene. You truly are the real Champion.

 

 


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The Long and Short of It: Lost or Found


Lately I have been trying to wrap my brain around how different my thinking is now than the unbelievable mess that used to center my life so many years ago.

So many years ago sounds like I am old. I am not. Or not as old as I could be. Yet.

Years pass by before you know it and you wonder how you got where you are, and what did you do to get here?

People walk in and people walk out of our lives. Jobs come and go. And for some of us, moving from one place to another appears to be the next best thing.

How did I or anyone believe for one minute we were meant to live this life without God?

Or maybe a better question is who dreamed up living without God was remotely possible?

I’d like to know who started that thinking so I can knock some sense into them.

Such a ludicrous thought impedes the judgment of many. Especially the young who are so called, “invincible” live as if nothing can touch them. What a false sense of security.

The epiphany when one wakes up and smells the sweet roses of Jesus is a turning point of authenticity. The joy and illumination of that moment awakes in us the actuality of our past sins. The measure of our sins is a determining factor in our heart’s condition. And that condition is only purified through the blood of Jesus.

Once we reach this great emergence of our souls, we see the tunnel of truth is infinite. Reaching for the light at the end is the journey for the rest of our lives.

The boundless wisdom of God is like a slap in the face of what we thought we knew. That crushing blow to our miniscule intelligence and foresight is the first form of humility.

In other words, until we reach the plateau of understanding we don’t know anything, is the beginning of learning everything.

The only class taught on everything is between the pages of God’s word. Pouring your heart out before the cross makes you teachable. Abiding in his spirit, leaning on his presence, serving him daily is the result of humility.

The process is one you will never finish. In knowing such a revelation your knees may become weary from kneeling, but the scars that appear will be reminders of how God gave his time to be with you.

Our heart’s desires change as we get to know God on a personal level. What use to be important loses its clutch of power on us. Gradually self gets stamped out and replaced by his grace and mercy. The “will” of it all is the bottom line of our growth.

The movie screen of our behaviors is photographed in our memory. Learn from our mistakes, and expand on those that have cushioned our future.

Thanking God daily for the behaviors and changes I see in myself is a reminder of how awesome he is. This is not to say I have arrived by any means but a yearning to continue this process.

Leaving behind or unloading the baggage of the past is freedom.

Truly I am in awe of how God has worked in my life. Knowing without a doubt I could not do this myself, is a testament to his power.

The person I use to be doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t know who she is or was.
If you are looking for her, you won’t find her.

By God’s grace, she is nowhere to be found.

2 Corinthians 2: 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

churchgraphics.wordpress.com

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/06/11/quote-ruthlessly/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/remembering/

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/god-im-just-not-strong-enough/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/humility-is-a-grace/

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