Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: January 12th

Play with the Pros

Recently my nephew, Scott Snyder, got to play in a national pro-am golf tournament. He won a spot to compete on behalf of his company in the Phoenix Open Pro-Am. A pro-am is an event in which four amateur golfers are teamed with a golfer from the professional ranks in a team event for the right to play over the weekend and win some really neat prizes. Scott is a reasonably proficient golfer and won the right to play in a group with PGA pro, Billy Mayfair.

Scott was thrilled that, on the holes with rather large galaries, he played fairly well under pressure. He did say that his heart was in his throat on the first tee box as he prepared to tee off for the first time in front of a galary. For one stretch of six holes he was as good as his accompanying pro even out driving Mayfair on a few holes. Such is the beauty of a sport like golf. It allows ham-n-eggers to compete and even excel at times.

Being in front of a large galary is the unnerving part. The weekend golfer gets nervous if there is a foursome standing nearby watching him/her hit. Friends watching? No problem. They'll embarrass themselves at some point, too. Complete strangers? That's another story altogether. You never know when you might be watched by someone who actually knows how to play the game.

Life is a lot like golf in that respect. In our known surroundings we feel relaxed and comfortable to live as we truly are in our personality. However, let the occasional stranger show up and we sometimes step out of character. That is an even greater challenge for the Christian. We are under the microscope every day, being watched for that one little misstep, that uncharacteristic gaff.

There is another group that is watching, in a sense. The saints who have gone before us have provided witness upon witness that the lives we are trying our best to live in Christ are possible. "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:1, 2 The galary is in place. Time to walk the "fair"way and finish the course.

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