I am a terrible golfer. I love the game, therefore I keep playing it. I guess you really have to love something in order to keep doing it even though you stink at it. Oh I have moments of greatness. Shots that belong on television. I even go through stretches where I play pretty well. I’ll hit a shot or sink a putt that convinces me that I am on my way to being a great recreational golfer. If I keep this up, I could join the senior pro golf tour in about twenty years. I started out with a great drive Sunday evening. Solid swing, straight down the fairway with a slight draw, about 280 yards. My second shot I hit off to the right. My third shot, in the trees. I had to use my fourth shot to get out of the trees so I could at least have a clear path to the green. My fifth shot was great! Right onto the green. But then it took three puts for me to get in in the hole. And that’s the game of golf. Moments of greatness surrounded by failure, confusion, frustration, anger, and the temptation to give up. I was so fed up after playing Sunday that I came home and watched my instructional video. After watching the video, I realized that I shouldn’t be surprised that I play golf so poorly. There are some basic golf fundamentals that I was lacking. The instructions reminded me of what I was missing.
I’ll bet that your walk with Christ is a lot like my golf game. Moments of greatness surrounded by failure, confusion, frustration, anger, and the temptation to give up. May I make a suggestion? Open the instruction book and get back to basics. Too often we try to walk around confused and frustrated. We know something is not right but we can’t figure it out. We keep swinging, hoping that we’ll somehow get it right, but we have forgotten the fundamentals. We try to fix our lives by ourselves and forget about the basic tools the Creator gave us to help us stay on the course.
How much time do you spend reading the instructions? Better yet, how much instruction do you actually put into practice? Simplify your life and get back to basics. Love God with all your heart. Love people, and treat them the way you want to be treated. Pray, pray, pray. Serve God by serving his church. Be generous. Be thankful. Stop sinning. Watch your mouth. Keep your heart and your body pure before God. Don’t be lazy. Forgive. Submit. Realize that you don’t belong here. Crave wisdom and peace. And whatever you do, don’t give up. Not every shot you hit will be perfect, but you have to keep swinging.