Links Daily Devotional

‘SFT’

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6, TNIV)

If you are not already familiar with Dr. David Cook’s principle of SFT—See it, Feel it, Trust it—you may get to know it soon, especially if you see Seven Days in Utopia, the movie that had its world premiere in Atlanta on Monday and will release nationally on September 2.

I recently played as a guest in a club invitational tournament. Because of the 10-stroke differential rule in the tournament, my friend had to give up four strokes off of his normal handicap. He told me he sure could use it, because he was not playing well.

As we played our practice round, he mentioned to me that his golf instructor told him to quit thinking so much before he hits the ball. Sure enough, during the first nine holes, he was taking a lot of time over the ball, and his shots still went wayward. So I told him the lesson that I learned and use when I play golf tournaments: SFT. According to Dr. Cook, who is a sport psychologist with a bold heart for Jesus, SFT is a way to remember that you need to first visualize the shot (See it), then get a sense for the shot (Feel it), and finally hit the shot with confidence (Trust it).

Believe it or not, this made immediate sense to my friend. During the tournament, he would repeat before each shot: “SFT.” He would make a birdie (net eagle) and not even remember if the hole was a par-4 or -5, because he was now focused on SFT. He broke his normal score each day. There was one fun moment when he said, “SFT” before he hit the ball 300 yards down the middle. Our opponent, unbeknownst to us, was listening and showed us his ball. Printed on his ball was “See it! Feel It! Trust It!” We all laughed and had a great time together talking about SFT!

For me, SFT has become something much bigger than a golf course catchphrase. In my walk with Jesus, I like to think of it this way:

See His Love! Feel His presence! Trust His Word!

This is why I like Proverbs 3:5-6 so much. It keeps me asking myself whether I trust God for all things or just some things. Solomon wrote that if we trust the Lord and don’t lean on our own understanding, God will cause our paths to lead to Him. This does not mean that every personal conversation, every business venture, or even every ministry effort will succeed according to the world’s definition of success (I sure won’t play a par round every time out!). But it means that when we step back and look at what happens in our lives, we will see God in it—or maybe not. We will view the world through His eyes and sort out our thoughts and actions from His point of view. And through this sorting, we will keep finding the clearest, best way to His heart. The clutter of the world will fall away.

(If you have not had an opportunity to read Dr. Cook’s book, Golf’s Sacred Journey, which led to the movie about to come out in theaters, I strongly recommend it. It’s a powerful read and will greatly enhance the movie for you. Also, you can hear Dr. Cook shares his story with a congregation in Houston here: http://vimeo.com/26792719.)

Dereck Wong

August 10, 2011

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.