Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: July 15th

It's in the Results

I have several friends with whom I play golf. Oddly, out of the ten or so of us you would think a couple of us swing alike. We don't. The golf swing is a lot like hitting a baseball. The object is to make contact in the best way you can. That way varies from hitter to hitter and it varies from golfer to golfer. The bottom line is not whether your swing looks like the classic fluid swing of, say, Ernie Els, but whether or not it works.

From Arnold Palmer to Ray Floyd to Lee Trevino to Jim Furyk, winning golf swings are dramatically different. Arnold slashes at the ball. Ray Floyd has a slight hitch in his backswing. Lee Trevino always swung underneath himself. Jim Furyk has a pronounced loop in his downswing. But when it comes time to put the club face on the back of the ball squarely, their records speak for themselves. Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone rather than tinker with success.

Just ask Ralph Guldahl. Guldahl's signature move to the ball was a violent forward motion of his body; a lunge. With that lunge he won back-to-back U. S. Opens in 1937 and 1938, and the Masters in 1939. However, he got a glimpse of himself in newsreel footage, and was so embarrassed with the way he looked lunging at the ball, that he dedicated himself to getting rid of the lunge and mastering a more fluid swing. It worked. Sort of.

Guldahl developed a fluid swing by the end of 1939. He used that fluid swing to go winless from late 1939 until he finally retired in disgust in 1942. No matter how ungainly his swing was with the lunge, it worked. The Christian life has a blueprint; Jesus. How we follow that blueprint is entirely up to us. The bottom line for living that life is whether or not we are effective. Jesus did not map out the particulars, just the attitude. The rest is up to us. The way we choose to live can vary as long as it does not stray.

"He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." Romans 14:6, 8 In short, it's not in the swing, it's in the results.

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