The Weekly Update page is extracted from a weekly e-mail sent out by
Assistant Pastor Donna Pollock
What does a winner look like? Answer: Dominic Thiem. He’s not exactly a household name but he’s a terrific tennis player and finally broke through to win a Grand Slam tennis final in NYC on Sunday. Along the way, he became the first man to take the title after losing the first two sets of the US Open final. It took more than four hours against a good friend and rival, Alexander Zverev, who seemed to have the match in hand in the third set. Zverev was only six points from winning in three straight sets before Thiem mounted his unpredictable and stunning comeback. There were no losers on this day, but only one man can win.
How good is he, at age 27? He’s won more matches on the ATP tour than any other pro. He pushed Novak Djokovic to the limit at the Australian Open final in February before Covid19 shut down everything. He’s lost several slam finals, but he’s good enough to have gotten there three times. Now that he has a “slam” to his credit, perhaps he will challenge and defeat one or more of the top three for future titles. Age is on his side, if nothing else because he is years younger. Regardless, Thiem played a tremendous match. Persistence paid off. So did his grit, taking away nothing from his opponent who looked like he would be the champion. So what makes a winner and champion?
In the Bible, we could point to a youthful David. Or, maybe, ask Goliath instead! We could ask Moses. Or, Joshua and Caleb, who led Israel into the land of God’s promise. Was Jesus a winner? Or, the apostle, Paul? Or, Peter? Sometimes in the Scripture winners look losers. Jesus left people scratching their heads when he said those who go last will finish first. Since when does that typically happen in our world!?
For inspiration I watch my granddaughter. She’s not always stable on her feet and seems to be in rush much of the time. She runs with abandon and gains too much momentum when charging headlong downhill. Then she trips—her legs can’t keep up with the momentum she generates. She often pitches forward, face first, as she piles into the grassy hillside slopes. I watch and run in her direction with concern, waiting for her to raise her head and look up. Sometimes she’s surprised, other times she laughs, and sometimes I see a scowl forming or a lachrymose look spreading across her face. Then, she shakes off the moment and gets to her feet once again. She may tumble and fall, but she doesn’t stay down. She’s a winner.
I think I know what makes Dominic Thiem a winner and, now, a champion. No matter what happens, he keeps on swinging.