So often, when we’re battling symptoms or snags in our healthcare, or just having a bad day, we feel as if life is stacked up against us. Yes, we feel like the underdog, not favored to win or even, perhaps, finish the race.
As I watch the U.S. Open tennis tournament this year, I’ve taken heart at the number of players who have defied the odds, overcome lack of privilege, sponsorship, or robust support – and have won their matches and moved on to the next round. What’s their secret? And how does that apply to the daily struggle with illness and pain?
First, it appears that many of them are not especially concerned with being the favorite or having their names emblazoned on caps and T-shirts. Perhaps, if their victories at the Open lead to more such results, they’ll begin to warm more to the idea. But actually, right now, it seems that for many of the players, the satisfaction and the support comes more from within and from a close circle of people who have supported them “before” – those who truly care, even if the players are losing.
For us, this is a potent lesson – our journey need not be filled with fanfare when we have strong faith, a vibrant spirit, and knowledge, deep and true, that God and our loved ones are with us, no matter what.
Another thing that I’ve gleaned from the rise of the underdogs is that money, sponsorship, and luxury cannot take the place of hard work, perseverance, and inner strength. It’s not the racquet or the shoes that make the player, it’s the training, talent (and what is done with it), and hours of hard work.
What does that mean for us? As we look at our surroundings and perhaps find our resources lacking, we can look beyond, to the creativity, inner core of wisdom, and constancy inside that are the true tools of people who overcome obstacles. Yes, we do have more than we think we do, and we are stronger than we think we are!
As the underdogs continue on their quest for more victories, I’m impressed with the maturity they acquire and exhibit. This happens to us, too; health challenges great and small make us learn, for sure, and also give us life experiences that mold, shape, and refine us.
Oh, yes, we’re stronger than we thought we were. And we’ll only become moreso, even if we feel like the underdog, because there are others who light the way, God is on our side, and we still, through it all, have much to give!
Blessings for the day,