Have you ever had one of those moments when you know it is the time?
I remember playing a Chinese college student ping pong.
I was at one of those University Church programs. You know the kind. They have a free lunch every so often to take care of poor college kids. They have Bible studies. And they encouraged us to play games and de-stress from college.
I enjoyed ping pong. I used to be good. But, now the ‘beast’ would jump up and say, “Got YOU.”
OK, back to the other college kid. He told me he was new to the campus and asked, “Would you like to play ping pong?”
I said the politically incorrect thing. HEY this was before people got their feelings hurt!!!
“I am not good enough to play a Chinese student.”
“He laughed and said, I will take it ‘easy’ on you.” His accent was strong, but I could tell he had a good grasp of English. We warmed up a couple of shots, and he asked me, “Are you ready?”
Well …. I knew I was gonna get beat badly. So, I thought to myself, Do I really want to prolong the defeat? Do I want to pretend longer that I have a chance? I know I am good. But, if he is just warming up, I do not have a chance against him.
So, I said, “OK, let’s play. Who serves first?”
He threw me the ball, “You.”
He was being lazy, and he let the score go to 5 serving 1.
He served, to my right forehand, I easily dropped and returned a decent over-hand spin slam.
He was good and easily returned it, to my backhand. He returned it low and fast. He returned it with POWERFUL SPIN.
There are two ways to return and defeat spin. The easiest, let the spin wear itself down and return the ball from below the table.
The other, well.
Put more speed and spin on it then it had coming towards you.
It was my backhand side. My weak side.
I AM American. Texan by the Grace of God.
I FELT everything within twenty feet. I still remember the moment.
There was not time to drop back and and take it from below the table.
Besides, I felt the room. And I am a Texan by the grace of God.
I returned with a back-hand slam. To his forehand – he was too far to my right and could return with his forehand. He was in a weak spot.
Like Sun Tsu said, “Know yourself and your enemy, and in 100 battles you will not face defeat.”
OK, something like that from old Chinese battle strategies.
I looked at the ball, what do they say, never take your eyes off of the ball?
I struck. There was no doubt. No delay. No hesitation. I dominated the ball. The back-hand slam.
Thank you Coach Yoshi “David” Mitsumta. All your hours of tireless teaching and making me practice.
Just hovering the net. Just touching down my left hand side. Faster than a greased pig. And much harder to catch.
The surprise spread across his face, and turned into a smile. Then he said. “That was a great shot.”
I said, “Well I do ok every now and then.”
To which he replied, “That was no accidental shot. Last year, I was Taiwanese National Champion. You do better than any American I have ever played.”
Every now and then, you should feel the world pause as you know you need to take your next shot. Your best shot.
You need to get ready.
Train, practice, and trust in God to give you the shot.
IT IS TIME.
Don’t you think?