Bad golf and a good spiritual life


  • Note: (Rainbows will fall from the sky, unicorns will die, puppy-dogs will be sad, and the bad guys will win if you don’t read this post, share it with all of your friends, visit my author page at Amazon, and purchase all of my books. Just saying…)

In your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear. – 1 Peter 3:13-17

IMG_8335-002First off, this post is not about golf. Don’t let the picture fool you. If what George and I were doing Thursday came anywhere near to resembling golf, then we would have noticed. Believe me, the attempt degenerated into a farce of epic proportions.

Here’s what’s interesting, and what makes this a worthwhile topic for my constant intention to share spiritual truth via this space: I actually hit some great shots yesterday, but none of them did anything to help my score in the actual game.

You see, the online coupon George found included a bucket of balls to hit on the driving range. So I took out a pitching wedge, a seven iron, a four hybrid, and my driver. I hit six balls with each club, for a total of 24. Then I stepped away, shaking my head.

  • “What? Can’t hit ’em today?”
  • “No; quite the opposite,” I said. “I hit every ball perfectly, with an easy swing. 24 swings, 24 perfect shots.”

So we went on down to the first tee box, where I grabbed my driver, picked my line, and hit the ball with beautiful precision, exactly where I wanted it. My next shot, just a pitching wedge into an inviting green, barely made it halfway there. And so, just like that, the instant I was about to pat myself on the back, reality t-boned my game and it was downhill from there!

My Life… and my Spiritual Life:

img_0398I could just as easily be writing about the way so many of us handle the transition between our spiritual lives at church, in Bible-study, sitting around the table in my men’s group… and the day to day reality of living at home, in relationships, at work, and every stumbling block – from tee to green – in between.

What happened to me playing golf was that I engaged the driving range and the course as two distinct experiences. We make the same error as spiritual beings: we live as if we have A) a spiritual life, and B) a regular life. But that kind of compartmentalization is not true. We have a life – this amazing gift that we have been given – and it’s either a life where faith is ascendant, or it is not.

I make a mistake when I think, “Oh, I need to make this experience outside of church feel like it does when I’m in church…” That notion sets up a false duality. What I need to do is to say, “This is where I am, right here and right now. Jesus, I want to invite you to live in and through me today.”

“This is where I am, right here and right now. Jesus, I want to invite you to live in and through me today.”

It doesn’t make any difference if I say that prayer while I’m in church, at work, or in traffic. The same imperative is true across the board – I need to invite Jesus in; I need to surrender myself to God; I need to be inhabited by the Holy Spirit.

There is no spiritual life that stands distinct from life itself. There is only life, and we only engage it at capacity when we live it for Jesus – DEREK




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