Show Up With the Right Stuff

Show Up with the Right Stuff

Playing tennis is one of our favorite things to do together. It’s super fun, super exhilarating, and super competitive…not really, but we both do like to win! Today I (Kathy) arrived on the court without my trusty winning racket. However, I knew Linda would have extra stuff in her tennis bag. She always comes prepared with ample supply. She even had new tennis balls today. Borrowing one of her spare rackets, I purposed to do my best but it was awkward, clumsy, and not my own.

I (Linda) felt bad for Kathy because she wasn’t on her game and it was probably because of the strange racket. It was one of my old ones. Feeling like I had an unfair advantage over her, I offered her my racket. It was newer, lighter, and better. And if I was going to win, I wanted to win fair and square! I wanted us to be on level playing ground so I kept offering not once, or even twice, but three times I begged her to switch rackets with me. No go. She can be more stubborn than I at times. She assured me that she would come back, and that she did.

(Kathy) Linda was doing a good job of beating me and I wanted to break her momentum. I yelled, “Hey I’m going to try one of your other rackets.” My hope was that it would give me back my edge. It didn’t work, so back to the racket I started with. Surprisingly, I won a game. Then another game, then another, and yes, I won the whole deal!

(Linda) Ok, she beat me bad! I couldn’t figure out where I went down hill. The first four games I was hitting every shot and placed it exactly where I wanted it. But crazy enough, I lost my mojo after she switched rackets. Analyzing this we came to realize that I had a wee bit of mercy kick in when I offered to give her my racket! I was concerned about the unfair advantage I had over her and wanted to make it right. Since she didn’t take me up on it, I started playing so differently and totally opposite of the way I started out.

(Kathy) All the time I was playing I was thinking about the significance of having the right stuff not only for the game but for my friendship with Linda. If I don’t “show up” with the right stuff for the friendship, I am not on my game – I’m handicapped. The stuff needed for a friendship is love, kindness, thoughtfulness, acceptance, forgiveness, etc, as found in I Corinthians 13. Without these things in my hand and heart, Linda then tries to compensate for what I lack in the game because I placed her in a precarious predicament. Now she’s not on her full game. She’s challenged to get the ball back with my handicap in mind.

(Linda) When Kathy doesn’t show up for our friendship with the right stuff (like that sweetness that normally oozes out of her, or the understanding that she usually has) I sometimes react in a weird way. I know in my head I need to respond right, but when the ball is in play that can be difficult and I sometimes lose it. It’s not easy to return the love when someone doesn’t show up with the right stuff.

(Kathy) I want to remember my tennis racket for both of us to play at our best and I want to remember the stuff it takes to have a winning friendship. With God’s help we can cultivate these things. It takes work, practice, and maybe a little sweat, but in the end we will have a winning friendship.

Coaching tip: Show up to your friendship with all the right stuff.



~ by thefriendshipdoctors on October 28, 2010.

2 Responses to “Show Up With the Right Stuff”

  1. Love this blog – one of my favorites!

  2. What a great way to see your friendship. Just taught me a good lesson. I’m loving it!!!

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