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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for November 8

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I try to be a nice guy. When my kids were growing up I would play the nice guy for them a lot of times. But I am also a fairly competitive guy, too. The problem is balancing competitive and nice. Sometimes you get to be both. The biggest thing is to not let the competitive side get in the way of the being nice side. Confused? Let me be blunt then. If you're going to win at the games you play, don't be obnoxious. Let's face it; obnoxious is not nice.

A few weeks ago a friend and I had planned a round of golf when we found out we would be joined by my friend's brother. That was great. His brother is a nice guy. Then my friend invited a guy he knows to play with us so we would have a fourball. (most people would say foursome, but technically a foursome is four people playing one ball down the fairway by alternating shots) The guy he called to join us is one of those guys who likes to win, but is a horrible golfer. The inevitable happened. We decided to play a two man scramble and I got as a partner; yep, you got it right the first time.

It's hard to be competitive in shooting clay pigeons if you don't have any ammunition in the gun. And it's hard to be competitive in scramble golf if you only have one shot to pick from. I was not exactly looking forward to the eighteen holes I would have to endure with the partner I had. That is when I decided on a plan. The guy may not be able to play well because he doesn't really focus that well on the game. If he had to carry me maybe he would concentrate and play better.

Over the next eighteen holes I hit enough good shots to keep us from going belly up. Meanwhile my partner started hitting the ball better than either my friend or I had ever seen him do. My friend looked at me with amazement on a couple of shots, actually pausing once to ask, "Who are you and what have you done with my friend?" I had taken a dive. And it had worked. My partner was proud as a peacock that he had carried us and, after we tied with my friend and his brother on the last hole, he was as humble as he could be. Winning isn't everything. But it is the final goal. We didn't win, but my partner did. And that was alright with me.

He had evaded capture once before when He was threatened with being pushed over a precipice. Now he had been captured. The established leaders finally had their all-powerful revolutionary in tow and they were going to make sure He paid for His crimes. They bullied the authorities into executing Him. He never resisted. "Then they crucified Him." Matthew 27:35 Hanging on the cross Jesus died. He lost. But we won. And that was alright with Him. Three days later He was crowned the victor as He arose from the grave. Not a bad scramble.

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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  2) 'Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.

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Sunday, January 26th, 2020
the Third Sunday after Epiphany
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