Finding God's Winning Spirit

Quick Fix

February 6, 2014 | Greg Smith | Focus

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I overheard a couple of guys in the pro shop the other day giving one of their foursome some grief about buying a new putter.  Evidently this guy was notorious for buying a new putter every time his putting got bad (which evidently was quite often). This sounded a little close to home so a few days later I looked around my house to see how many putters I had – I found seven.

I found putters in closets, under the bed, on the back floorboard of my truck and one in the garage that I had cut in half to use the grip.  Each one brought back memories of the hope and excitement when they were purchased and the disappointment when they were discarded.  I had purchased each one full of faith and confidence only to, once again, be jilted by three-putts.  I had been looking for a “quick fix.”

These golfers are making fun of this guy in the Pro Shop because they all know deep down inside that his putter is neither the problem nor the solution.  There is no quick fix here. This guy needs to spend a lot more time on the putting green and less time shopping for equipment.

I do not know why we all look for the quick, simple, effortless answers in life, but we do. We constantly tell ourselves that there is some shortcut to success, a get-rich-quick secret or some mystical path to toil-free happiness.   I know what you're thinking, “This is just human nature, something we all do.” Well if we were to be totally honest with ourselves, it is not as much human nature as it is original sin. After all, it was Adam and Eve that put their hope in an apple – victims of the first “quick fix” scam.

We are constantly being sold the notion that life should be easy and we should not have to wait for what we want. We have become spoiled, entitled, and have lost the ability to postpone gratification.  The point here is anything of value will require our undivided attention and labor. We will not get away with “phoning in” those things that are important in our lives. To be successful athletes, parents, husbands/ wives, employees/employers, etc. will require personal investment with no short-cuts or copouts.  Living the Christian life is no different.

We are not going to be able to simply show up on Sunday and expect to enjoy the depth and richness of the Christian faith.  If we expect our faith to sustain us in our time of need then it would help if we knew (really knew) what we believed – if we want our prayers to be heard it would help if we had also listened – if we want Christ’s counsel it would help if we had spent some quality time with Him.   Simply put, buying a new putter to cure my putting woes makes about as much sense as me hoping to enrich my Christian life by simply buying a new Bible. 

There is no shortcut to fulfillment, personal value and/or unconditional love and it certainly isn't found in the world. For us to acquire a winning spirit as Christians we must not get too caught in the pursuit of all things quick or shiny. It is a trap to spend our time and energy pursuing things of the world believing that once achieved or obtained fulfilment will come.  I recall what Solomon said about such endeavors, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Christian maturity and strength come not from short-cuts but from perseverance; from learning from our mistakes and never losing confidence in who we are and what we are capable of doing through Christ. As parents we are not going to give our children everything they want when they want it. How would they learn the value of anything?

You, me and this guy in the Pro-shop can buy all the putters we want but I can tell you from experience that our putting is not going to improve simply by changing equipment. Like our Christian walk, it will take time and work. Fortunate is the athlete who enjoys practice and blessed is the Christian who enjoys the life’s journey of growth and maturity.

 

(Excerpt from Sports Theology: Finding God’s Winning Spirit)

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