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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for June 19

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in God." Psalm 84:5 That little verse speaks volumes to me. As a golfer I have had to learn certain things which have, in turn, taught me about God. You might think that a tad strange that a sport can teach you about the heavenly Father, but it can. Living life for the Lord seems to be very difficult. Hitting a golf ball where you want it to go is the most difficult thing for me to do in sports. Let me explain.

Like most golfers I started playing golf having no training whatsoever. No one else in my immediate family ever played the silly game so there was no one to show me how to hold the club, address the ball or swing the club. I had to pick that up watching TV golf events and reading golf magazines. I learned some very interesting truths concerning golf that a lot of golfers never discover for the same reason a lot of people never discover certain truths concerning God.

I have learned that the loft of an iron golf club is what gets the golf ball airborn combined with the speed of the swing. Thus, if you want to hit the ball higher you hit it harder. Plus, you don't have to help the ball into the air. This is what most golfers don't know. I watch people who consistantly try to swing up on a ball lying on the ground without even thinking that it is physically impossible to do so. Those who do this lose distance, accuracy and a whole lot of patience for the game.

This is where the divot comes in. If you have ever watched a PGA Tour event you have seen the pros hit their irons shots and divots fly. The rank amateur sees that and tries to emulate it. However, the amateur does it by taking the divot behind the ball (again thinking swing up) instead of in front of the ball where the pros do. Simple golf physics. Hit down and through with an iron to make the ball fly high. The divot is in the follow through after striking the ball. But this is all impossible if you don't believe it and don't know it. And your golf game will reflect it.

The people who struggle with golf are a lot like those who struggle with God. They have made no effort to really get to know Him through the Bible and prayer and, therefore, have no idea how He works in their lives. All they know is, "give and forgive." When we become exhaustive in our effort to know God better we begin to realize that what strength we have for living is truly from God. Just as the golfer lets the club do the work as he swings it, so we let God be our strength as we trust Him. "Blessed is the man whose strength is in God." Psalm 84:5

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