I enjoy playing golf. I am not great at the game, but I like going out to the course. In case you don’t know, golf uses its own language. Every course will give you a number of strokes it should take to play every hole called par. The object is to shoot par or even better with fewer strokes. If it takes you one more stroke on a hole then it is a bogey. If it takes you one less stroke on a hole then it is a birdie. You get the idea! Shooting par takes practice, lots of playing time, and much patience. Here are 3 components to shooting par on the course and in life.
Position. My son recently started playing golf and has received lessons from a local pro. From the beginning, position was addressed. Your position before the ball is of utmost importance. From your feet placement to posture, everything must be in place in order to hit the ball properly. To enjoy success you have to start with your position. The same is true for the follower of Christ. Our position before the Lord is the starting point for a successful round of life today. Humility and dependence come to mind quickly. When I think I know better or don’t need God, I am out of position. My day will slice out of the fairway pretty quick!
Attitude. Golf is an active game, but much of it is mental. Each round of golf consists of 18 holes and, if you are me, about 83-86 shots. For our mathletes out there, you recognize that I am taking 11-14 more shots than what the average course has a par standard. A wayward drive or missed 3 foot putt all have the same effect on the score card. If I let one bad shot ruin me then I will find myself shooting 95-100. After a bad shot, I have to put it out of my mind. If I dwell on that moment I will not have focus on the next shot. Life is the same. Some days are just bad days because of the evil that surrounds us. Don’t let one bad choice ruin you for the day, week, or month. Forget what is behind and focus on what is ahead of you.
Responsibility. One of the nuances of the game is taking care of the course as a player. If my shot creates a divot on the green, the responsible action is to fix it. If my wedge shot takes up too much grass I can pick up the piece and tap it back down. Not every golfer will do this and it affects others playing behind them. In essence, as you play think of those who are coming behind you. This type of consideration transfers naturally to the follower of Christ. We are to be taking responsible actions in consideration of those coming behind us.
On the golf course, I have recorded par on holes, but never the whole course. I find that a round of golf is a lot like life in that regard. Some holes are birdies or pars, while others are bogies or worse. Record your score. Remember that every tee box is like every new morning that God’s mercies are new.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.