Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: July 29th

The Great Professional

Every now and then something happens which heightens my appreciation for those who have certain skills. When I think of the many woodworking projects I have done over the years I am reminded by each one of the expertise of those professionals whose abilities allow them to turn woodworking projects into masterpieces. This past weekend I received a fresh dose of appreciation for another group of professionals; the men of the Professional Golfers Association.

Last Friday morning at 11:00 my son John and our friends in the ministry, Brian Gorman and Tim Gould, and I teed off on the Irish course at Whistling Straits Golf Resort, Kohler, Wisconsin. While walking to the first tee I asked the caddy, Matt, what the course record was. "72," he replied. The harshness of that number hit me hard. I am about to tee off on a course where no one has ever broken par for eighteen holes. That is not the thought you want going through your mind as you prepare to tee off.

Right next to the course we were playing was the one that served as the sight for the last PGA Championship. Matt then added to my looming frustration with another comment. "The Irish Course plays a lot harder from the black tees than the Straits Course does." As I took my place over the ball to hit my first tee shot all I could think was that I am playing a course that is harder than one the pros called the most difficult that they played last season.

Eighteen holes later I picked up my ball following my bogey on the last hole and realized that I had just shot a 95. Somehow there was a moral victory in being able to break one hundred. Walking away from the hole I was tired and somewhat perplexed at my lack of scoring ability. Then I thought of the pros. They would have hit the fairways and managed their games so well that their scores would have been remarkably better. That's why they're the pros and I am a preacher. They're that good and I am not.

This week I will write a sermon. I should say, this week I will record a sermon. The sermons I have written have been terrible busts. But there is one who writes sermons that I record for Him. The Holy Spirit, God's personal presence in me, writes some really solid sermons which I have the esteemed privilege to preach. The reality of being a preacher is presented by the apostle Paul. "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" 1 Corinthians 8:16 God's presence within me compels me to preach; and He is the great professional at touching men's souls.

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