Lessons from the Links

Today, I had the opportunity to go see some of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN. I fell in love with golf about 4 years ago when a friend of mine convinced me to go play a round with him. Golf is one of the most challenging things that I have ever tried in my life, and that is why I love it.

I never really payed attention to golf as teen or in my early 20s. I always made fun of it, thought it was stupid, and never even wanted to try it. When I went a played that first round, I realized why people loved the game. It is challenging. It is frustrating. But the reward of satisfaction of hitting that one good shot is enough to keep trying replicate that feeling.

Anyways, since that first round, I have watched more of the professional golfers to see if I could learn anything from them. I also have had the opportunity to go see them play in person twice.

I was thinking about what I could write about today and I decided to write about what I saw today while I was at the golf course.

Being a professional tournament, they had it roped off where you could walk and where you couldn’t walk. You could make the choice off going underneath the ropes and being where you shouldn’t be, but you would probably be escorted off of the property and you will miss the tournament. Being at the tournament today, reminded me of the Christian life and how God has marked our pathway for us. He has given us the King James Bible to guide us where we should go and where we shouldn’t go. When we try to go our own way and get off track, we will have to pay the punishment for our mistakes. These choices may set us back in our service for Christ and what we should have been doing for Him.

Another thing I noticed is that no matter who the golfer was or how good they were, they all faced the same hazards. Whether it was the water or the sand traps or the rough or even the tall weeds, every golfer had to avoid them. In the Christian life, whether you have been saved for one day or 40 years, you still have to avoid the same hazards or temptations. I like Proverbs 4:15 where it states “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”  I know that this verse is talking about the path of the wicked, but let us take it apply it to those things that will draw us away from Christ. Let’s avoid the hazards of life that will keep you from reaching your goal.

The last thing I want to point out is the clubs in a golf bag. Each golfer has a set of clubs that he takes with him throughout the course and he uses different clubs for different situations. He has drivers, irons, wedges, a putter, and they all used differently. Do you realize that God made each one of us different and He has something special that He wants each one of us to accomplish. You are special to God and He has a task for you to accomplish while you are here on earth.

Just like golf is a challenge and it isn’t easy, the same goes with the Christian life. There will be bad shots that will make you want to give up and quit, but the good shots are what will keep you going! Just keep swinging! Just keep serving!

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Spiritual Application from NBA Finals – Game 1

One of my favorite things in the world is sports. I love playing sports. I love watching sports. I love talking about sports. Last night, I watched some of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Now, I don’t like either team but if I have to choose, I am pulling for Lebron, I mean the Cavs. The game was close and the competition level was high, so I was glued at the end hoping that Lebron, I mean the Cavs, could hang onto the lead and ultimately get the victory.

But that didn’t happen….

There was a bad call…

There was a bonehead play…

There was a lack of effort…

….All leading to an overtime loss by the Cavs.

But in this final minutes, I saw actions by grown men that I did when I was a teenager with a highly competitive spirit and a hot head. I saw tempers flare, trash talk, and even some cheap shots. I remember the days when I would get mad during a game. I wasn’t a big trash talker but I have thrown my fair of cheap shots, which I am not proud of. I played hard, sometimes too hard where it crossed the line into being a dirty player. I wanted to win. But enough about me, let’s get back to the grown men getting paid millions of dollars to act like kids!

3 things I want to point out from these last few minutes that we can make a spiritual application to…

  1. You can’t let circumstances take you off course. – As some of the calls at the end of the game went the Warriors way, you could see the Cavs start to lose their will and desire to finish the game strong. In our Christian life, not everything will go our way. We may go through storms and trials. We may feel like the calls go against us. That is when we need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves on and go forward and do more for Christ! Too often we fall and stay down. Too often we get sidetracked and end up off track. Too often we get our feelings hurt and hold onto that for too long. We need to finish strong! We need to keep pressing forward! We need to keep serving Christ no matter what happens! “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” Proverbs 24:15
  2. Only you can control your attitude. – Once players started getting frustrated with calls and bad plays, you started to see some tempers flare. Because of some of these temper flare-ups, there may be a player or two suspended. All because of a reaction to an action. I am all for playing hard and even getting mad that you are losing but you can’t get out of control, you can’t lose your head. You have to control your own spirit, your own attitude, your own emotions. When those circumstances don’t go our way, we can fly off the handle and in doing so we will hurt those around us. We have to guard our spirit in the Christian life so that Satan can’t bring discouragement and defeat into our life. Always remember that true joy is found in the Lord and in the things of the Lord. “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
  3. Always give everything you have. – As I watched overtime of Game 1, I noticed that the Cavs had given up, they had stopped trying. They let circumstances and the defeated attitude get in the way of playing the game. No matter what happens around us, we should always give everything we have in everything we do. Don’t just try to be the best you can be in serving God, but be the best in everything you can do. I know I have said it before and I will say it again, God blesses hard work no matter who you are or where you are. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

As we go through life, we should always be looking for spiritual applications to make ourselves a better Christian, no matter what we are doing.




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