Playing golf has become a source of relaxation and enjoyment for me. But there are a lot of parallels to the life of faith in golf. If you have ever played or watched the sport, you are aware that even the best golfers in the world hit bad shots or are put in a bad position from something on the course. Some players understand that if the ball is not in the hole yet, they have another shot to play. They stay engaged in the obstacle in front of them. They put themselves in a position to recover well. Other players refuse to get over what happened to them or the mistake they made. They continue to stew over it in successive shots. I’m convinced that the ability to recover and scramble in golf has less to do with talent and more to do with mentality. Will you play your next shot and take advantage of the opportunity given or will you refuse to get over what happened previously?
The writer of Lamentations reminds of the reason why believers can have hope, even in the face of the most impossible situations. They write: “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).” In the Hebrew, the phrase ‘consumed’ can mean finished. Because of God’s great love for us, we are never finished! Despite what we face, we have a Savior that has gone through worse and has covenanted to live within us through the Holy Spirit if we trust him with our life. Even more, through Christ, we can be forgiven of our sins and mistakes. As the writer declares, God’s faithfulness to us is unbelievable. Jesus will never walk off the course of life from you.
However, it is our choice to take advantage of what the Lord has given us. It is our choice to believe and accept what Christ did for us on the cross and move forward, free of the weight of our guilt. If we do not, we can let it rob us of the joy we were given to live, similar to the golfer that cannot get over the bad shot.
Christ was given to us to help us bounce back and put us in position to win. The famous Atlanta-born golfer named Bobby Jones said this about golf and life. “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.” If you find yourself in a bad spot in life, take a deep breath and take heart! Move forward. With the freedom you’ll discover in Christ, you may recover into a place of promise you never imagined.