I recently took up learning to play squash. One of the hardest things to learn about playing squash is the behaviour of the ball itself. There are different types of squash balls intended for players of various experience levels. The difference lies in the amount of rubber and air inside each type of ball.
Depending on the kind of ball you are using, you’ll find out that when you first start playing, it takes great effort to hit the ball against the wall and have it bounce back to where you want it to.
I quickly found out eventually, that an important part of playing squash is to first ‘warm up the ball’. This is done when players hit the ball hard against the wall in such a way as to make it possible for the other player to do same. After about 6 to 8 of such hits or volleys as they are called technically, the ball becomes warm and bounces a lot better. So what does squash have to do with today’s topic? I hope to explain this as we go on.
Our main Scripture reference is found in Romans 5: 1 – 11. The book of Romans as many of us know, was written by Paul the Apostle. Commentators agree that this book was written by Paul in Corinth while he was staying in the house of Gaius (1 Corinthians 1:14, Romans 16:23)
If Paul were a today’s politician, some parts of his letter in Romans 5 would have been edited appropriately. For instance, he started the epistle with great news that would naturally elicit a very happy response from readers. But it looks like he spoilt it in verse 3, ‘We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials….’ I can imagine his political advisers saying, “No Paul, that is not politically correct! You don’t tell that bit to people, they will get discouraged!”