When I was a child, I loved playing croquet. My family and I played often during the warm weather, and I’ve found myself wishing I had a set again. Last month I watched some of my nieces and nephews playing the game, and they were having every bit as much fun as I always did.
However, one of my nephews was way behind in the game. It looked for sure as if his younger sister had him beaten. And even his younger brother was pressing him hard for second place. But that boy didn’t give up, didn’t complain, didn’t get all up tight, didn’t make negative statements, didn’t even get discouraged. He just kept focusing on that ball and the direction in which it needed to go. And he kept swinging that mallet, making solid contact, and gradually moving that little wooden ball toward his goal.
A few of his strikes sent the ball askew. And once when he was lined up perfectly to make the final move, his sister’s ball blasted him out of the path and way into the outfield. But he just kept swinging. Every time it was his turn, he quietly and determinedly connected his mallet with his ball, sending it back in the right direction. Ten minutes later, he came out the winner.
Life is like a game. You have to keep moving toward the goal. Don’t let missing a strike now and then – or getting knocked off course by interference – cause you to give up and turn in your mallet and ball. Keep your eyes – and your heart – on your goals and keep swinging that mallet. Don’t focus on the other players or the problems in the way. Focus on the goal and keep swinging. In the wink of an eye, the tide can turn in your favor, and you can find yourself making the winning hit.
“And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time, we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”