golf, complete commitment, faith, and going purple

Yesterday’s post turned out to be an interesting phenomenon. Most visitors were able to read the title, see the picture of tonight’s “Presidential Debate” participants, and still understand that the post wasn’t about Republicans, or about Democrats, or partizan, but was designed to encourage all of us to think about how we engage the political process. But the “clown-car” was too much for some people, and I may have lost a few readers!

The last time I wrote a pointed political piece was in November of 2012. The post got me featured on the WordPress front page, and has – to date – garnered more hits than anything I have ever written. “300 Million Shades of Purple” is a message I’d still like all of us to think about, especially in light of how defensive we tend to get when it comes to the whole politics conversation.

IMG_1791

BACK TO TODAY: Early this morning I met my friend Ray on the golf course and broke one of my long-standing records. No, not the score, I’m talking about the fact that – after three months of no golf whatsoever, I have played three times in the past eleven days!

I drove up to the clubhouse rehearsing today’s potential low score in my mind. I was really pleased with my last round, I thought; playing this much is almost like practicing; today I’m bound to be even better.

The result? I had a wonderful day; lots of fun along with great company. But I don’t remember when I last played this poorly. Ballooning drives into the air; watching my ball drop onto the ladies tee; shanking easy 90-yard pitching wedges into the trees; three-putting from 15-feet; topping the ball so it runs 20-yards along the ground instead of 150-yards through the air.

Toward the end I figured out what I was doing wrong; it’s not only a no-brainer, but highlights a really important “live like you mean it” concept. When I started I was relaxed, I was confident, and I decided to ease into my shots without swinging too hard. These were all great ideas, from a “don’t let tension creep into your game” point of view; but the result was disastrous because – all put together – I violated the single most important credo if I want to play well: I failed to completely commit to my shots.

IMG_1789Here it is again. I failed to completely commit.

Committing to the shot means hitting the ball like I mean it. It doesn’t matter if I pick a lob-wedge that carries 80-yards, or a driver that sends the ball 250 yards down the fairway, or a short putt that curls gently to the left; once I have decided what to do, I need to engage what comes next with purpose – or the result is going to be poor focus, worse execution, and then disaster.

BEING A DISCIPLE: I think too often we get involved with a faith community, we generate some excitement and some motivation, and then we develop some confidence, and we begin to settle in comfortably. And we follow Jesus, we live as disciples in the context of our church, and we settle in, and we begin to violate the single most important credo if we want to do this faith thing well: we fail to completely commit.

IMG_0622We pull back from complete commitment when it comes to following Jesus, and we lose our focus as committed disciples in the community of faith. And, rather than living victorious lives, we begin to lose ground, and we get discouraged.

There’s only one way to get back on track, and that’s to completely commit.

4 comments

  1. You’re right, Derek. Christ’s commitment to God was total (Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34), and His commitment to man was also total (Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13). Committing to Him is a small price for us to pay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I have always believed that golf was for people who don’t know how to fish I had to laugh out loud picturing teeing off and the ball landing on the women’s tee. The last time I golfed it was after a rainy morning and it was a little muddy out on the course. I was with some friends that attended my Sunday school class. I set the ball on the tee….focused…..and swung like my life depended on it. The sound of the club head hitting the ball was beautiful. We all gazed in the sky….and gazed some more….and some more. My goodness! Did I hit a hole in one? I looked down to pick up my tee and there about three inches in front of the tee I could see the top of something white. Yeah…..I’ll stick to the fly rod and a quiet stream.

    As to the point of your post. Amen my faithful friend and brother in Christ. I believe that many may be receiving this same word from our Father. What was once a blurry and indistinguishable between the true Church and the world will unavoidably become crystal clear. The Church will be known by love born out of and driven by commitment. A commitment to prayer, I believe, will usher in one last amazing revival in this world. I’m blessed to have stumbled into your blog.

    Like

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