By Bryan Wagner
There are so many
lifelong lessons we can learn from the sporting world, both good and bad. There are also
lessons we can get and apply them to our spiritual walk. Take golf for instance. Now you
may be asking yourself, "How in the world can you relate golf to my spiritual
walk?" Well, Jesus said, "I can do all things through Him who gives me
strength"(Phil. 4:13). So we will rely on that scripture.
In order to play the game of golf, you need to have of course, golf
clubs to hit the ball. Then it might be nice to have a scorecard to tell you about the
course and let you know in which direction to hit the ball. Your goal is to play a round
of golf competing against the course itself and to better your own score. ( In my case,
the goal is to find more golf balls than I loose). If you are really good, the goal is to
strive for perfection and try to shoot better than par. On most of your shots, you want to
pick the right club that will give you the beat shot possible and set you up for the next
shot. You want to get yourself in position to reach your goal, which is the cup. When you
shoot at the green, the idea is to get the ball as close to the pin as possible. You need
to aim at the pin. Get the ball close enough, and you will have an easy putt for a
birdie-better than par. This all seems pretty easy, doesn't it? Well, I forgot to mention
there are a lot of problem areas along the way. There are sand traps, long grass,
out-of-bounds and even water.
As Christians, our course is the world. It's a beautiful yet
treacherous place that also has many problem areas. Plus, to make matters worse, there is
a heckler in the gallery (the devil). The Bible, as our 0scorecard, guides us through the
course. It shows us the many problem areas and tell us how to stay away from them or how
to get out of them. God's word even shows us how to deal with that dreaded heckler.
The challenge for us is not to just finish the round, but to be better
than par. You wouldn't settle for being average at anything else that you do, why should
you in your spiritual walk? Sure it might be hard, but it's the hard that makes it great.
The Jedi Master "Yoda" in the movie "Return of the Jedi," tell his
pupil, Luke Skywalker, "Do, or do not. There is no try." (I know it's just a
movie, but those words are deep.) My challenge to you is not to try, but to do. Don't
settle for being average. Aim for the pin of perfection on your spiritual golf course and
be like Jesus. Be better than par.C
Brian is a retired NFL punter who played for the Cleveland Browns. He resides in
Northern Ohio with his wife Robin and their three children.