back to the center

I love sports. I despise playing sports that I can’t do well. Some may debate that there are more in that category than the other; however, my pride will not let me agree.

Mac was so gracious as to try to teach me racquetball this summer. The thought of essentially being in a human display cube wearing rec-specs and dodging a rubber bullet didn’t exactly thrill me. However, when the players got it right, it was beautiful, intense, and thrilling to watch.

God bless Mac and his patience. We went over basic rules and then began hitting around the ball. Hitting the ball – success. Putting myself in the position to make the next move – failure. I would hit the ball and then immediately my head spun with a series of possible situations. I would watch my opponent, worry about getting hit in the face, try to figure out every detail, etc. In doing all of that, I would fail to do the one most important things – return to the center.

That was the one phrase that Mac pounded into my brain. He would repeat it after every hit. Apparently, if you return to the center then you are in the best possible position to make any move. I had trouble letting that sink in. Mac’s voice resounded. . .

“Back to the center. Back to the center. Back to the center. Back to the center. Quit watching me. Back to the center. Don’t think that much. Back to the center. Stop getting frustrated. Back to the center. BACK TO THE CENTER!”

Today as I recalled that interesting occasion, the only thing I could recall was, “Back to the center.” The words began to leap from the court and into the midst of my life.

Stop watching other people. Stop trying to figure it all out. Stop being frustrated. Don’t get discouraged. Quit pretending you know what you’re doing. Get back to the Center. Back to the Center. Back to the Center.

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