Ping-Pong\Trademark – Used For Table Tennis
Many years ago my husband and I attended a worship service at the Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California where Chuck Swindoll was a very popular pastor at the time. That morning he shared an illustration that I have repeated on numerous occasions.
Chuck used the analogy of a ping-pong game to drive home his point about the most serious problem in relationships. In fact, if the problem is not resolved technically there is no relationship.
How the Game is Played
Ping-pong is a lively indoor game that resembles a miniature version of tennis. The server places the ball on the palm of the hand, throws it up vertically, and hits it with his paddle. The ball must bounce on the server’s side of the net, clear the net, and bounce on the opponent’s side. For a good return, a player must hit the ball after one bounce so that it clears the net and bounces on the opponent’s court. Play continues until one person misses the ball, hits it off the table, or hits it into the net.
The Potential of the Game
The player who first scores 21 points wins the game. However, the winner must have at least a two-point lead. An entire match consists of either two out of three games or three out of five games.
The Tragedy of Unfulfilled Potential
The fact is it takes two individuals to play ping-pong. Two people can know the rules of the game, have the best paddles and balls, but if one or both players do not pick up the paddle there will not be a game. The potential of enjoying a lively match is lost. This is a tragedy of the worst kind because the essence of life is relationships.
Ping-pong cannot be played with only one player because it is impossible for a person to run around the table and hit the return shot. Perhaps you long to play with someone you care deeply about but they won’t pick up the paddle. Even though there is tremendous agony in waiting to play at least you understand the problem and can pray accordingly.
Or perhaps you have decided to not pick up the paddle even though the nature of the relationship would require you to play. In that case, Romans 12:17 & 18 instructs you to, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
My job is to deal with my anger, bitterness or lack of forgiveness so that I am ready to play with my paddle in my hand. This is my responsibility before God. Am I ready to play the game?