Don’t Try So Hard

“Don’t try so hard,” said Larry the Pro. Amazing that after 20 years of working at the same outdoor tennis club, Larry could come back summer after summer with new words of wisdom.

Larry’s job is truly the definition of insanity — doing the same thing year after year and expecting a different result. Yet somehow his enthusiasm and his knowledge do create a different result. He has discovered how to teach old dogs new tricks.  As Sally said to Harry in that memorable movie, “Is one of us supposed to be the dog in this scenario?” Larry’s wise words of advice “Don’t try so hard,” reach far beyond the tennis court.

Recently, I have realized that trying too hard has defined my life. It’s only in the last few years that I have come to understand that trying so hard — trying to be good — striving with shoulders tight and gripping hard is actually counterproductive. It creates strife, tension, frustration, anger and defeat.

Don’t try so hard
God gives you grace and you can’t earn it
Don’t think that you’re not worth it
Because you are
You’re lovely even with your scars
Don’t try so hard.
–Amy Grant

It is only when we let go, pause, step out and trust can we find untouched reserves of power and peace. In a world that takes advantage, trusting seems like dangerous behavior. But what are we putting our trust in?  Do we put our trust in ourselves, those around us or in our circumstances?  Put your trust in God’s greater plan. There is a perfect plan that exists for each of us. When we take a deep breath, let go of our plan and allow ourselves to be used in God’s plan, we find joy in each situation.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell

There is a greater court beyond the tennis court. See it — be a Courtgirl.  Don’t try so hard, and you will find the freedom to hit amazing shots on and off the court in the glory of the greater plan.

Grace & peace,
Liz Sweeney