02 Jun

I don’t know about you, but I have always enjoyed watching Wimbledon – perhaps because I was introduced to it as games homework whilst at school. We had to watch to see how positioning and tactics worked best and to learn the usefulness of serving aces into different corners of the service court. Most of us girls then were fascinated by the like of Nastase, Connors, and the new boys McEnroe and Becker – just given my age away there! What we learned, as well as useful tips for our own game improvement, was that every time we picked up a racquet we were required to do the very best we could – much like those professionals I mentioned.

There is a lovely Peanuts Story by Charles Schultz, which begins with Charlie Brown at a baseball game. He swings the bat, misses the ball and is out. He walks dejectedly back to the bench. ‘Rats!’, he says, ‘I’ll never be a big-league player. I just haven’t got it. All my life I’ve dreamed of playing in the bigleague, but I know I’ll never make it.’ His friend Lucy turns to console him: ‘Charlie Brown, you’re thinking too far ahead. What you need is to set yourself more immediate goals.’ He looks up: ‘Immediate goals?’ Charlie Brown asks. ‘Yes,’ says Lucy, ‘start with the next innings when you go out to pitch. See if you can walk out without falling over!’ I reckon that that is pretty good advice – not just trying to stay upright, but to look at more immediate goals.

Sometimes we have big dreams and even bigger ambitions and for some reason we expect to achieve them overnight. The truth is that we really do need to break those ultimate goals down into smaller goals – baby steps that with hard work and clear focus we can achieve before moving on to the next step. 

Those little steps are hugely important as they build the firm foundations which will, in turn, take us to our ultimate goal. 11 Those tennis players I mentioned and indeed all athletes and anyone who is at the highest level of their chosen path, has put in hours –even years of hard work and sacrifice – usually at tremendous cost to their family and other areas of their life in order to achieve that top goal. We too have to work hard and put in a lot of effort if we are to be the very best people we can possibly be as human beings. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes we are too tired to bother, sometimes we don’t care enough, but we still need to try to be the best version of the person we are meant to be. It is the same for anyone who wants to live a good Christian life. 

We all have to practice every single day of our life in order to come anywhere near to being the people God made us to be. We need to listen and to talk with God through prayer and by reading the Bible. We need to try to live in the same way that Jesus showed us while he was here on earth. If we do that, then one day we will obtain that ultimate prize of a place in heaven with him.

None of us is perfect, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to get as close as we can and to be as good as we can possibly be. Like Charlie Brown, we will still trip up from time to time but we have no reason to give up, because God is with us every step of the way, loving us, and wanting us to succeed. Why not start today and give it a go yourself and see what a difference it makes to your life. With my prayers and good wishes  

Rev Rosemary Maskell

01603 898258