Patty LaRoche: Tennis and To-Do Lists, Follow Through

In our tennis match this morning, my husband and I were partners against two other men. Right after I hit the ball into the net, Dave made a suggestion.

“Patty, follow through.”


Five shots later, this time into the fence: “Patty, you still aren’t following through.”


“Did you know that most power comes from your follow through? Watch baseball players hit. Their bat doesn’t stop when it hits the ball.”

“Well, maybe when the tennis ball hits my racquet, that’s enough force to stop my swing. Have you ever thought of that?”

“Patty, that’s not true.”

Ignoring the fact that I’m married to Roger Federer, I answered: “Maybe in my world, it is. Maybe I’m just too delicate to hit with power… you know, too fragile.”

And since there isn’t a delicate or fragile bone in my body, we both crack up.

Still, Dave is right. I don’t follow through.

But neither does he.

(I can’t help it.) Oh, maybe in tennis he does. But there are more important things than sports. (Did I just say that?)

Dave makes lists, scads of them, believing that just writing the words is somehow fundamental to the task’s completion.

  • Buy muriatic acid to get the rust off the tile.
  • Buy Gorilla Glue to fix the rip in the couch.
  • Buy duct tape. For something…anything. You can’t have enough.
  • Think of other things needed to fix other things.

Most of us have at least one area in which we don’t follow through, don’t you agree? Get on that treadmill…now turn it on. Resist second-helpings on that molten lava cake. Apologize for poisoning the neighbor’s dog. Send that thank you letter. (Yes, letter, not email or text.) Allow only ten minutes per day on Facebook. Call Mom. (Feel free to forward this last one to my children.)

The list is endless, I know, but there’s still an area where our follow through is much more critical. Author Lisa Morrone wrote about it. “In our spiritual lives our follow through—or lack thereof—can markedly impact the power with which we live and the course of direction our lives take.” Paul said it best. Acts 20:24 ESV But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

We start our walk with God and then sit down, sidetracked by circumstances or setbacks or laziness, and stop short of completing our spiritual journey. The simplicity of Colossians 2:6 is profound: Repent, seek the Lord for further direction, and keep going. Get that? Keep going. Follow through.

And yes, in case you are questioning, it’s on my list.

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