Skip to main content

How One Golf Shot Changed My Understanding of the Christian Life

The toughest shots are opportunities for great success
A few years ago I was playing a rare round of golf. Because I’m no Tiger Woods (in more ways than one, I guess), I was able to see much more of the golf course than most.

At one point, I found myself off the fairway and behind a few trees. About 15 yards ahead of me was an opening of about ten feet which provided a much more exciting (albeit perhaps not as wise) option than a safe sideways punchout to the fairway.

Don’t Be Distracted By Danger In The Distance

Remembering a trick someone had taught me many years ago, I stood behind my ball and drew an imaginary line from the opening directly to my ball. Then I located a small stick which lay immediately on top of the imaginary line approximately two feet in front of my ball. I locked my eyes on the stick and moved into my address position beside the ball.

From that moment on, I did not look up to see where my ball would lie. Instead, I focused all my energy on being certain I hit the ball directly over the stick.

It worked. Because I was able to hit my ball over a target just two feet away, my shot continued on the right path for many yards. The ball soared out of the woods and came to rest in the fairway just short of the green (what happened after that is insignificant to this story).

Here’s the lesson. Too often we paralyze ourselves with fear because of all the potential danger we see looming in the distance. Rather than focusing on what is right in front of us, we worry about the future, and end up making poor decisions.

Focus On Your 2 Foot Step, Not Your 2 Mile Journey

Psalms says God’s Word is a flashlight for our feet and a lantern for the path. The idea is that we can rely on God’s Word to illuminate the immediate circumstances in our lives, to help us make the right decisions right now. Even if we can’t see the future clearly, we can be certain that if we follow God’s Word today, it will guide us to where we need to be tomorrow.

If you walk through the woods at night with your flashlight focused on the tree 50 yards away, you’ll probably trip over the root right in front of you. If you walk through life with your eyes focused on the danger which lies weeks ahead, you’ll probably trip over the the temptation right in front of you.

Walk With God

Yesterday we talked in church about walking with God. It’s easy to walk by yourself. You can walk as fast or as slow as you want. When you walk with someone else, though, you have to pay attention to their speed. You have to match their stride. The reward for your effort is the opportunity to grow your relationship with the person walking beside you. A walk is an opportunity to talk, to connect, to get on the same page.

God wants us to walk with Him. He wants us to take every step as if He is right beside us… because He is.

Don’t worry about the steps you’ll take next week or next month or next year. Simply pay attention to your life’s next step. Don’t let your fear of tomorrow impede your focus on doing right today.


Popular posts from this blog

The Inability of Metaphors and Similes to Describe the Church

The difference between a metaphor and a simile is the word "like."   (that's perhaps overly simplistic, but useful: Metaphor: You're a Dog. Simile: You're like a Dog. Of course, neither a metaphor nor a simile really does a good job of  proclaiming reality: You aren't a Dog. Often times, Jesus and His friends used metaphors and similes to  describe the church. Some of them would be: The church is (like a) house The church is (like a) family The church is (like a) body The church is (like a) temple All of these are useful for helping us understand some nature or  function of the church, but none of them are terribly effective as a  comprehensive description of the reality of the church: The church is not a house The church is not a family The church is not a body The church is not a temple The church is the church. It is completely different than any other  organism/organization known to man. It is a spiritually-joined,  mis

How I'm Going To End the Creation - Evolution Debate

You may or may not be aware that coffee has a very quick “mold-creation” rate.  If you leave a cup of coffee sitting out for too long, it will quickly begin to develop mold spores.  In fact, I would imagine, that in just a week or two a mug of coffee would develop a bog-like surface if left alone. Therefore. I’m placing a full mug of coffee in a secluded room where it will be undisturbed.  I’m also leaving instructions in my will that in 100 years, my grandchildren are to go into that room and document the lives of all the mold creatures that have come to life. That’ll show those silly creationists.

I Shall Have My Revenge

I shall have my revenge I'm not sure I have the quote exactly right, but in the movie Gladiator , Russell Crowe's character says something to the effect of, "I am husband to a murdered wife, father to a murdered son and I shall have my revenge in this life or the next. " I am typically not a big fan of vengeance. It's not usually a wise course of action. However, yesterday this quote came to mind while I was delivering some money to a friend (wisdom side note: never loan money to a friend. Give it to them. If they pay you back, you still have your money but if they don't you still ave your friend ). I thought to myself, "the person who is giving this gift isn't expecting to be paid back, but they will be… In this life or the next. In This Life or the Next Sometimes we live as if we only believe in this life. We make no provisions or plans for the next life. Sometimes we are so focused on taking care of ourselves