Monday, September 11, 2006
US Open Champion Maria Sharapova & Obeying God
This past Saturday Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova won her second grand slam tournament when she beat Justine Henin-Hardenne in the US Open. If you are a tennis fan you no doubt enjoyed seeing some of the best tennis players in the world as well as the farewell appearance of Andre Agassi.
If you’re not a tennis fan you may not be aware that there is a rule that no coaching can take place during tournament play. Even though your coach may be seated in the stands a few feet from the court there is not supposed to be any verbal or non-verbal communication taking place.
Apparently during tournament play Sharapova’s father and her hitting partner were at one point holding up a banana and holding up four fingers. In a post tournament interview Sharapova was asked to explain the hand signals she was receiving from her support people.
Sharapova explained that during the match she gets so focused on tennis that she forgets to drink water and hydrate herself. The hand signals were meant to simply be a reminder.
With that explanation Sharapova indicated to reporters that she didn’t want to talk about the subject of unfair communication any more. She said, “Right now I’m sitting here as a US Open champion, and the last thing I think people need to worry about is a banana.”
I like Maria Sharapova and I enjoy watching her play tennis. In the matches that I’ve watched she has always conducted herself with class and professionalism. And, I don’t like to nit pick. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re being reminded to hydrate or if you’re being reminded to hold your racket a certain way for a drop shot, it is still receiving coaching during the tournament.
Why am I putting that little act under the microscope? The receiving of illegal coaching and the demand that it be dismissed as a matter of interest is a reflection of how our world thinks today. Many who believe that there is a God and that someday we will stand before Him to give an account of how we spent our lives, also believe that they are going to be able to insist that God not look at certain behaviors. Some live like they are going to be able to say, “I’m a US Open champion (good, charitable, fair, hard-working, kind person) and the last thing I think You ought to worry about is a banana (cheating, lying, selfishness, etc.).”
On that day you won’t be able to control the press or your image. God will be in control. And, the only hope you’ll have is that you already received forgiveness for sin from Jesus Christ and that you followed Him as Your Lord. Friend, that’s worth reflecting on.