A Game for Two

 

I know that for most games, you need two people. Hide and Seek doesn’t work with a lone player. Kick the Can, Go Fish, Battleship…they all really need two sides to make it fun.

Although I was very blessed to be one of eight children growing up, there were times when you’d have to get creative. Even with that many potential playmates, I occasionally couldn’t find a partner. When that would happen, I’d set up a card game and play both sides. So it’s possible to do, it’s just not very entertaining.

We did have one game that absolutely required two to play. Ping Pong.

If I didn’t have an opponent, I’d just end up serving that ball over the net to the table, and then the floor every time. Silly, right? Who in their right mind would do that? Without someone ready to return the serve, it’s ridiculous to even try.

It’s a different story in spiritual life. Someone’s always over there, serving up that ball every minute of every day. He lobs grace after grace my direction, all the while, hoping I will show up.

Yep, it’s God. Every day is like a Ping-Pong Game.

Trying to engage me in a relationship, God constantly serves the ‘ball’. Not surprising really. He knows how distractible I am. If I see something else that looks better, I’ve been known to walk away from the game. But that doesn’t stop Him.

And I never start the game. He knows I’ll love Him, because He loved me first.

It starts the moment my alarm goes off in the morning. That’s the first soft lob of the day. The game begins. Will there be thanks? Will I engage Him in a return of praise? Or will I turn away, grabbing the gift of another day with grumbles and complaints before my feet hit the floor?

I have food to eat, clothes to wear, a family and work to do too. Serve. Serve. Serve. The ball keeps coming over the net to me. God must have a vat of ping pong balls because He keeps tapping them over the net, hoping I’ll return it with joy and thanksgiving.

mg1K1wecE2XZo_hRPVWJwYAIf only I’d hit it back and start the interplay. If only I’d enter the dance of love and joy and praise with my Lord. But more often than not, there’s a sea of weightless, white ping pong ball confetti around my ankles. And I’m shuffling away, distracted by something that looks shinier.

No, I’m not very good at this. But I want to keep trying. Lucky for me, the balls keep sailing over the net. He never loses hope.

Okay, I’m ready to start again. Ready for those blessings to start bouncing my way, and ready to return the offering with my thanks. I know it’s going to make me smile because it brings me the joy of a relationship with my Creator.

That’s what He’s wanted all along.

 

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66 thoughts on “A Game for Two

    • Hi Linda! Oh, I think we’re all guilty of whiffing on the serve from time to time. Just gotta get back in the game, that’s all. Thanks be to Him who doesn’t ever get tired of waiting for me!

      I’m always happy to visit you!
      Have a peaceful afternoon,
      Ceil

  1. Oh, may we all be found ready and willing to play with God! I love the imagery of the ping pong balls constantly coming my way; I promise to try my best to lob them back with all the love and thanks God deserves from me.
    Blessings, Ceil!

    • Hi Martha! I loved that thought too, and I can’t remember how it came to me. But I also had the image of all those light and fluffy ping pong balls littering the floor. It’s a sobering thought.

      I’ll promise to do my best right along with you. He does deserve that 🙂

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  2. You could play like Forrest Gump and set up a table on the other side of the net so it automatically returns. 🙂 but it still is no fun. it is a lot more fun when two play. Sort of like me and God. We have a lot more fun when I include Him in my day instead of trying to do it myself.

    • Hi Bill! I thought about that later, and actually, I think I used to do that! But I do like the idea of it being a game for two.

      You’re so right! Life is more fun and fulfilling when the Lord is in the game!
      Sunday blessings,
      Ceil
      PS How did the sermon go??

  3. Well….I’ve had two reminders today about waking up grumpy or grateful. That means God’s trying to get my attention. Thanks….I think! 😉

    • Hi Deb! Isn’t it something when that happens? I’ve been in your situation before, it’s like God is rattling the trees or something!

      I’m still working on the morning thing. I’m not a morning person AT ALL. It’s more like ‘mourning’ person 🙂 We’ll work on it together, okay?

      Sunny blessings today to you (and me!),
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! I love that pun ‘not intended’! It gave me a smile this afternoon. Thank you!

      I’m not too sure why I would want to start the day pouting, but I am not a morning person at all. I’ve been trying to be more thankful each day, and return that lovely serve 🙂

      Have a great Monday my friend,
      Ceil

  4. Ceil, I’m ashamed to admit that often I don’t see those blessings bouncing back to me either. You have made me stop and think though – and knowing I’m not alone in feeling that way is somehow a comfort. Thank you for making me pause and reflect. Love Andrina X

    • Hi Andrina! As I read your new post from today, I can see why it’s so difficult to see blessings. You are going through a very rough patch these days. But there are good things in it all, and I know you will find them. It just takes different eyes, and sometimes I don’t have them myself.

      I will be praying for you, and hoping that God will send you blessings that are so obvious, you won’t be able to ignore them! (I may ask for myself too!)
      Happy Monday,
      Ceil

  5. Oh, how true! It breaks my heart to think of the times God has “served” a blessing my way…in invitation to enter His presence…an opportunity to show love to another or to HIM, and I have been so easily distracted by things less noble. I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning! I am learning to love Him more and more as time goes by, and I see how faithfully He has pursued a relationship with me. Thank you for this sweet, gentle reminder, Ceil! God bless you. 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl! You are not the only one my friend. It is so good to know that His mercy endures forever, and that He’ll never leave. He’s still serving up those blessings. Phew!

      I do tend to see things more clearly in the rear view mirror, as you mentioned. Maybe we’ll become more wise over time. I know the Lord would like that.

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  6. Oh how I couldn’t help but say ouch as I read this one Ceil. Such great imagery in this post. I can only imagine the balls must be piling up around me but I”m grateful that God continues to get in the game with us. Many blessings to you.

    • Hi Wanda! Thank you for your kind words. Believe me, there are plenty of ‘ouches’ over here too. But God is always ready to keep playing, still serving those blessings. Just have to get my head into the game!

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  7. “Lucky for me, the balls keep sailing over the net. He never loses hope.” Amen! So good, friend. And I should leave a more profound comment but know I just love coming here to see what you’ve got to share with us. Always good!!! Love you. xoxo

    • Hi Beth! I think your comment was just great! Thank you for visiting and supporting me. You are such a great blog-friend, and one I know personally too 🙂

      Hope your Monday is a good one!
      Ceil

  8. Hi Ceil, Great imagery in how we can interact with God in a “game” of ping pong. I desire to be alert and to capably return His serves; however, I don’t know if I want to know how many ping pong balls are cluttering the floor around me.

    As an only child, I had to be creative when it came to playing games. You’re correct, games are so much more fun when played with another person!

    Blessings!

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! I bet you did have to be creative with playing games. Maybe you played a lot of imaginative games?

      I know there are a lot of ping pong balls around my big feet, but I hope to be more attentive to the game as I hopefully get older and wiser 🙂

      Have a blessed Tuesday my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Karen! Thank you for your kind words Karen. I’m glad we’re connected through our blogs. I always learn a lot from your writing tips!

      Happy Tuesday 🙂
      Ceil

  9. “I have food to eat, clothes to wear, a family and work to do too. Serve. Serve. Serve. The ball keeps coming over the net to me.” Everything we do can be a prayer, depending how we go at it. Funny how I fail to remember this once the kids wake up! LOL

    • Hi Patty! I love that thought about everything being a prayer. You are so right. Being connected with Christ is just the most beautiful, peaceful and fun experience… And I forget plenty about it. How can I do that? I guess it’s because I’m a human being. I am so grateful to my God who loves me through it all.

      Have a blessed Tuesday!
      Ceil

    • Hi Carmen! Thank you for visiting today! I had the game in my head when I wrote this too. It’s a great image for cooperation and interplay isn’t it?

      I’m sad I don’t always show up either. Thanks be to Him who never stops serving!
      Have a blessed Tuesday,
      Ceil

  10. Ceil,

    Sometimes it takes me a little while to figure out the blessings. I need grace to smack me in the face at times. Thankfully there are other times I can see it coming a mile off. I think as we get better at ‘life’ and our walk in faith, we can recognize the gifts God has given us. There are those occasional slip-ups though.

    • Hi Kim! I think you have a great attitude about it all. Yes, I miss the gifts too, the gentle serves that come at me. But I always have the opportunity to come back. What a grace! And I do hope that like you, I’ll get better at it with age.

      Age has to have some benefits, right? Lol!
      Blessings to you my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Jerralea! It is a beautiful thing to know that my Creator wants my attention, and will wait through my distracted times. I just want to be more and more aware of His grace and blessings, and return my thanks and praise!

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

    • Hi Dianne! Thank you for visiting today!

      I think it’s a pretty common thing, we are all human and so distractible! He’ll keep lobbing them over the net, I hope I can be ready with my return of praise!

      Have a blessed night,
      Ceil

  11. What a fun analogy, and spot-on! I really love playing Ping-Pong. But, in real life, many mornings I feel like those ping-pong balls are more like tennis balls being hurled at me from one of those automatic serving machines. INCOMING!!

    Oh, I so want to have intimate connection with God every day. So, I’m going to look for more opportunities to return His serve. GAME ON!

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! You always make me smile, and this comment is no different. Those tennis balls!!! OUCH!!!

      I agree with your call to get the game going. Lord help me to be aware and ready for every serve and blessing. I want to return to you my praise and thanks!

      God bless you too my faithful and funny friend 🙂
      Ceil

  12. Oh this is lovely Ceil!

    I’m distractable too. I’m so thankful the Lord consistently engages with me and waits for me. He is so good and so faithful. Plus it’s funny that once you start playing, you wonder why you ever stopped playing… even if for a day or two?!

    Thanks for sharing.

    You are such a blessing my friend.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your kind words about the post. I think we both can relate to the theme of God wanting us so much while we wander off, looking for something else.

      I do wonder why I wander!! It must be because I am human, and I’ll never get over that fact. I can just hope to be richer in grace, so I can be more faithful.

      Thank you for your blog-friendship, I’m so thankful that we are connected 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Jean! I’m glad I make you smile 🙂

      I think being engaged with God is a life goal, and what better way to illustrate that but Ping Pong? I just have to remember to stay in the game, and keep from wandering off all the time…

      Have a restful night my friend!
      Ceil

    • Hi Lux! Maybe it doesn’t matter the birth order, we can still be left with no one to play with!

      It’s so funny how we can all have similar experiences. Just like with our relationship with God. I hope we both decide to return those serves with love and praise.

      Happy Wednesday 🙂
      Ceil

  13. Ha ha !
    Loved reading your post Ceil.
    Enjoy your day of ping ponging until your filled up box is empty, ready for tomorrow’s balls, smiling all the way.
    God bless.

    • Hi Brenda! I really like the idea of enjoying my interplay with the Lord. I think He does too! I hope I won’t let too many fall today, and be happy to look forward to tomorrow.

      Thank you for your upbeat comment!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  14. What a painful reminder. lol 🙂 No, seriously, such a good reminder of God’s pursuit of us, and our opportunity to respond. It’s so easy to wake up and dive into life without pausing to recognize his hand. Thanks for the nudge. (And I’m so glad someone else knows what kick the can is. Love that game!)

    • Hi Crystal! I really don’t want it to be a painful thing, but just a reminder about being ready for those blessings. I like how you phrased it as ‘God’s pursuit of us’. That’s perfect.

      I loved kick-the-can. We played games like that on summer evenings with the neighbor kids. So much fun! I can still remember the sight of the fireflies coming up…

      Have a restful night 🙂
      Ceil

  15. I love ping pong so you hooked me from the beginning. Thank goodness God does not tire of lobbing us new balls each day. I pray I remain in the game through praise and thanksgiving and remember who created the game of life. Beautiful analogy! Lots of hugs friend!

    • Hi Mary! I wonder how many people play it anymore? We had a table in our basement growing up, and I have one in mine now too. I think most kids are into on-line gaming now.

      Thank you for your encouraging comment, I appreciate it so much. God did create the game of life, didn’t He! I like that, thank you for that 🙂

      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  16. How beautiful you describe about a spiritual game! That our God who keep our courtship contantly.

    I’ll be back for blogging and I’m so happy that your words always bless me here. Thinking of you often Ceil.

    I’m so glad that I’ll be bqck for blogging again.

    Blessing,
    Delvalina

    • Hi Delvalina! You’re back!!! It’s been a long time since you’ve blogged, I can’t wait to be blog-friends with you again. It’ll be great to catch up 🙂

      Thank you for visiting and letting me know you’re writing again,
      Ceil

  17. Oh dear, picturing all the times when I am standing with a pool of balls around me from unreturned serves. Praying I have my paddle at the ready on a regular basis! Thanks for the challenge…

    • HI MINDY! Oh, don’t think about all the times you missed the ball, think about all the ones you’re going to return! You’ll have some wonderful interplay with God, it’s going to be a blast! I know I’ve missed so many myself.

      Let’s concentrate on getting back into the game, I know we’ll do better and better!
      Hugs,
      Ceil

  18. Beautiful Analogy Ceil, I am laughing over here.
    The Balls keep tipping over is a sign that God hasn’t given up on me!
    I love this, thank you.
    God Bless Ceil

  19. Oh Ceil!! I have SO many ping pong balls at my feet as I push them along with a lagging pace, off to wherever, doing whatever, and I’ve been TERRIBLE at returning his precious serves!!

    I love this so much… Girl, you and me both.

    Thank God He still keeps serving…. over and over and over again… no matter when or how it will be returned. I need to get back in the game. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Hi Chris! It’s so nice to not feel alone in this! I guess we all go through this at one time or another. And I think I’ll be facing this game all my life.

      Getting back into the game is the key. Like you, I just want to be in there trying .

      Have a great weekend!
      Ceil

  20. Oh, Ciel, I can identify with your great analogy. I think our busy lives (even in retirement in my case!) add to us sometimes hardly noticing the ball coming over the net to us. God is ever faithful, ever wanting to hear us, so yes those balls keep coming. Playing table tennis (ping pong) will never be the same again! Thank you! Love the way we can all connect through blogs – though I may never meet you personally this side of heaven, I love it that I can read your stories, and the comments of others, and feel a kinship because we all belong to His family. PS I am way over in NZ!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for visiting me all the way from NZ! I’m so happy that you liked the post, and enjoyed the comments too.

      Come on back anytime!
      Blessings ,
      Ceil

    • Hi Susan! I like the thought you introduced about God ‘trying to beat me’. We expect that from humans, but certainly not from God! He only wants the relationship, not to be ‘first’. Love that! Thank you 🙂

      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

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