I was talking to my sister about her conference tennis match on the phone this year. She was nervous and anxious, and she needed some comfort. I told her, “Carrie, nobody works harder than you. Nobody trains better. Nobody takes more lessons. There’s nothing else you can do. Enter the match knowing that. And be comforted by that. What happens will play out, but know you’ve done everything.”
She needed to surrender her anxiety and fear because there was nothing else she could do. I truly believe no one works harder than her. All she could do was give her all during the match and watch it unfold.
Much of my anxiety and fear during periods of waiting stems from the fact I feel like I could be doing more. As a guy, I feel like there is always something more I can be doing to fix the situation. But that’s usually not the case. That’s merely a reflection of my desire to control the situation.
I’m learning that having no control is a beautiful thing. A period of waiting can be a lonesome feeling, but from my experience, I can also feel very alive in these periods. It makes me depend on something outside myself. It makes me surrender control. It makes me abandon all anxiety and fear and lay them before God. More than anything, periods of waiting make me depend less on my plan and rely completely on God’s plan. And I’m thankful for that.
By Stephen Copeland
Stephen Copeland is a staff writer and columnist for Sports Spectrum magazine. Log in here to access our most recent Training Table. Subscribe here to receive 12 issues a year and a daily sports-related devotional.