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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for June 30

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In May, 1998 I had the kind of day an amateur golfer dreams about. I had traveled from Winchester, Kentucky to Georgetown, Kentucky to play golf at the Longview Golf Course. I did not have anyone with me so I was at the mercy of the starters. Another man and I were put with a couple of guys named Joe who were agitating to say the least. They challenged our cart to a match from the big boys' tees. We were waiting in line to get started and my cart partner looked at me and said, "Let's shut these guys up." The match was on.

My partner, whom I believe I remember as being named Phil, told me he had never shot anything below 82 at Longview. Meanwhile Joe and Joe were railing on about their stellar performances on the very course we were playing. I confessed to Phil that I had been in the 60s a few times but had never been below 76 at Longview. We felt like we were going to be in for a long morning. We were wrong. Both Phil and I relaxed and enjoyed our time together talking about our wives, our lives and our children. When the dust settled it was all over Joe and Joe as Phil had shot an even par 72 and I had scorched the course for a 66.

What was amazing was not that we had beaten two aggravating opponents. What was amazing was that we had beaten ourselves by ten strokes each. Suddenly our possibilities were changed. The way we looked at golf was changed. We both realized that with a little work we could be the golfers that we really wanted to be. Two weeks later, in the company of three good friends, I shot a scintillating 107 at Eagle Trace Golf Course near Morehead, Kentucky. Reality was back with a vengeance. It's not what you've done it's what you do on a regular basis. Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.

That's why life is so daunting. Just when you have had that one day that declares that you can live life close to the Father and His Son, reality comes calling. You have to get up the next day and do it all over again. Where is the focus at such times? It has often shifted to us and our "performance"; to us and our works. What we have done, and not so much what God can do through us, becomes the focal point. That is why we fail so miserably the next day.

"I beseech you therefore, Brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1, 2 It's not what we do, but who we allow to do it through us. Only through a daily sacrifice does God have a chance to truly come alive through us, not for us, but for His greater glory.

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'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' Copyright 2010 © Tom Kelley. 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to https://www.studylight.org/  2) 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 16th, 2020
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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