"The proof is in the pudding." That old saying has been around for a long time. I'm told it originated with someone who was getting ready to make some pudding and had some rather interesting ingredients which, by themselves, were not too delectible. The cook told the worry warts not to be concerned because, well, you get the picture.

How often have we set out to do something and tried to do it with materials that just don't seem suited for the task? Naysayers come out of the woodwork and, even though we are sure what we are doing is being done right with the necessary materials, we begin to doubt. Several years ago while playing a round of golf with a friend the old adage came to fruition.

While finishing the front nine at Wasioto Winds Golf Course, Pineville, Kentucky Steve Smith was facing a testing task on the ninth hole. He was 150 yards from the green with a decent lie. But right in front of him was a huge tree. He was not particularly adept at hitting fades and draws so he felt stonewalled. "I don't have this shot in my bag, Tom," he told me.

I told him to move the ball back in his stance, aim straight at the tree and hit down into the back of the ball really hard following through to a high finish. He half heartedly said, "Okay," and then took his place over the ball. The next several seconds will forever be etched in Steve's memory. He did it. The ball cleared the tree and landed on the green some twelve feet from the hole. The proof is in the pudding.

Jesus once told a group of people gathered around him something that made no sense. "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11, 12 Not the tastiest ingredients for a life well lived, but it works. The prophets proved it and Jesus proved it. The proof is in the pudding.