Gold and God – A Winning Match

In exhaustion and exhilaration I climbed in bed for a good night’s sleep.

Earlier in the day I and my female partner had participated in the women’s doubles in the game of Pickleball at the BC Senior Summer Games in Kamloops, BC.

This is the first year of going to a rating system of 2.75, 3. 3.25, 3.5, 3.75, 4 and 4.5 and in our category of 3.25 we were in a mix of 4 teams and played each team twice.  We ended up in a 3 way tie with 4 wins and 2 losses each.  It came down to points for and against and we were able to squeak out a Gold medal with 7 points separating Gold, Silver and Bronze.   We were proud of our win.

Laying in bed in my tiny motel room, with my husband snoring beside me, he was nearly drowned out by the fridge whose motor kicked in randomly which sounded like a car motor revving.  On and off, on and off the fridge roared and I eventually put a pillow over my head to assist my ear plugs to do their job of silencing my space so I could sleep.

With the fridge on and off is how I slept, on and off, reliving my day, and to quote my partners description of a restless sleep, “pickling all night.”  I could see myself make great shots, watch balls drop at my feet, sometimes unable, or at other times not even trying to hit it, taking huge sweeps to slam the ball over and across the net – yet miss it completely.  I was feeling the emotions of winning a game and losing a game and my adrenaline simply kept me going in sleep cycles throughout the night until I became fully awake at 5am and began to write.

It reminds of the night my son was born.  There was a 4 hour burst of energy, intensity, focus and full attention to the task at hand of birthing.  Shortly after midnight my prize was born and I was high on adrenaline for the remainder of the night reliving each moment, snippets of conversation and the thrill of knowing I had participated in doing something wonderful – in this case giving birth though I had the assistance of my husband, nursing staff and months of preparation.

My Pickleball games also came with help, lessons, 3 years of learning the game,  months of practice, teamed up with my partner as we chatted about our areas of strengths and areas we needed to work on and asking for tips from others along the way.

My musings of the night took me further as I reflected about my journey through marriage.  Ongoing training, staying focused and to press on toward the goal, to reach my reward reminds me of  the scripture reference from THE MESSAGE in Philippians 3:12-14, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.  But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.  Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus.  I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.”

I remembered saying to myself through my various games, “okay, stay focused, watch the ball, and keep your eye on the ball” then feel my body take a readying position to receive whatever came my way.  I was trained to this point, at my level and I was giving it my best shot, literally.

This is a revelation of what Paul (THE MESSAGE) teaches about life, in my spiritual pursuit of living life according to Gods word and his purposes whether it be in play, work or marriage.  To be filled with zeal, train for it, find my strengths, be aware of pitfalls, weaknesses, work on improving and stay focused on the path to my reward, communicate and actively work as a team member with my partner – pick up the slack for each other, yet at the same time, strive for my individual best.

My Pickleball partner and I are well matched each bringing our particular strength to the game and spots where we may have to help each other out of a tough spot, encouraging and strategizing – consoling – spurring one another on.

So like birthing.  So like marriage.  So like the game of life.


Filed under Faith Path, Life Lessons, Writer Writes

6 responses to “Gold and God – A Winning Match

  1. Cary O'Malley

    Well done, Val. Great gold medal win. Great story. Very interesting and so able to relate to. You in bed tossing around. Excellent.


  2. Valerie Priebe

    Cary, thanks for reading and for your encouragement. I appreciate it.


  3. pat bowling

    Congratulations on the gold medal. You do such great comparisons, love reading them.


  4. Rose

    Way to go Val and a great reminder to focus!


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