Every once in a while, it's good to attempt something that you're not necessarily experienced at. Well, providing what you're attempting isn't detrimental. Once a year my in laws fly in from the UK and I spend the better part of two weeks attempting to play golf. I dig playing golf.
The goal, in golf, is to swing the golf club (each club for a specific distance) and move the ball further down the fairway until, eventually, the golf ball finds it's home in a hole that is approximately 4 " in diameter. For someone like me, who is not very good, it can be pretty amusing. It can also bring out the worst in you. On a dime, emotions can swing from one extreme to the other. Still, the goal is to approach the green and win the prize.
While playing today, I found myself quickly leaving the comfort of the lush green grass of the fairway and entering the treacherous lands that surrounded. Sand, water, sticks, rocks, etc.. Then it dawned on me how similar life is to the game of golf.
Let's say, for instance, you begin in the tee box which is where the game begins. You're in the right frame of mind, you've chosen your instrument and the whole world is laid out before you. And so it begins... From the view of the tee box, the path is so beautiful. So serene. You tee off with the hopes of moving forward but suddenly you find yourself in trouble. Maybe blocked by some unforeseen obstacle. Maybe you find yourself buried. Sometimes you play through. Sometimes you have to reset, but not without a penalty. Those blasted penalties! When you figure out how quickly they mess up your score, you often figure out how to avoid those penalties. Don't beat yourself up too bad. Even the most experienced players find themselves in the rough. We're all going to kick up a little dust. Don't dwell there. Focus on the prize and get back on track.
As followers of Jesus, we know full well what the prize is and we know that if we apply scripture to ourselves then we'll see hazards come into play. We would find it in our best interest to remain composed, focused and trained so we know how to respond in the face of certain trials. Make sure that you progress and, on your final approach, find yourself entering the promised land.
1 Cor 9:24-27
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.