The other night I met some friends to play tennis. The local high school at which we play has 10 fairly nice courts, so even when the weather is nice out, like it is now, there is usually an open court or two to choose from.
When I parked, I was the first from our group to arrive and I noticed that 6 of the courts had their lights on while four of the courts were dark. The 6 lit up courts were all being used players. And oddly enough, one of the dark courts was also being used.
Getting out of my car, I could hardly see the man and woman playing on the dark court, so I can’t imagine how they were able to see the ball.
I figured something must have happened and the lights on those four courts were broken. Either that or this couple were some kind of tennis ninjas and didn’t need no stinkin’ lights.
As someone who is not a tennis ninja, and very much needs light to do basically anything, I figured my only choice was to wait to see if one of the lit courts opened up.
While I was surveying the landscape, trying to see which court had the sweatest players, so I could predict which game would finish first, another car pulled up. Two young guys got out of the car and walked right over to a light pole. They hit a button and instantly ambient light filled the four, previously, dark courts.
My first thought was, “why didn’t I think to do that?” But then the thought, “why didn’t the man and woman think to do that” came to my mind as the couple who had been playing in the dark thanked the two guys for turning on the light.
Turns out, they were not tennis ninjas at all. They were simply playing tennis in the dark.
Maybe this was their first time playing tennis and they didn’t want anyone to see how bad they were, so they hid in the cover of darkness. Maybe they are afraid of buttons and saw the light pole but couldn’t bring themselves to touch it. Or maybe, like me, someone before them had been playing the dark and they just assumed that the lights were broken and never thought to look for light.
This got me thinking about the times we approach a situation and blindly accept the circumstances laid out before us. The details are not as we would expect, or like, and we figure they are like that for some reason and there is nothing we can do about it.
We see others in the darkness and assume we too must play without light.
Thankfully for us, there are some people out there who look for light. They do not accept the situation without looking for a solution first. They teach us that, tennis ninjas or not, we can take action to improve what we see before us.