Links Daily Devotional


“How to Hit It Long”

Some version of that headline is used to seduce golfers every day. I dare you to find a major golf magazine from the last four years that doesn’t contain at least one tip and two advertisements singing the song of distance. My friend Brad says he’s going to get a new driver that adds 10 yards, a new ball that adds 15 yards, a tee that adds four yards, a counterweight that adds seven yards, and the next time he plays he’ll immediately be 36 yards longer! You too can buy a better game.

Are you tempted? Of course you are. But you may want to heed the warning of Circe to Odysseus: “First you will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any one unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song.”

That green field was obviously a golf course, and the song was undoubtedly one that spoke convincingly of hitting a golf ball great distances. The warning of Circe goes on to speak of a “great heap of dead men’s bones” with flesh still rotting on them, and she tells Odysseus he can listen if he wants to, but only if he stops up the ears of his fellow sailors and has them lash him securely to the mast of the ship. Now there is an accountability group for you!

I suppose the equivalent in life might be money, but it could be fame or power or prestige. The truth is, there are many Sirens along the way, singing sweetly of things we want to need, and we too often find ourselves yielding to their song. If we aren’t careful to stop our own ears, or if we aren’t tied to the mast, the worst may happen. I can name at least three tour pros who lost their jobs because they listened to the Sirens sing of distance, and I can name several businessmen and women who lost small fortunes because they chased large fortunes.

Even in the realm of following Christ, the temptation to want more is ever present. Recall the request, as an example, of James and John to sit on either side of Jesus when he came into his glory. Whether their mother spoke for them (Matthew 20:20) or whether they spoke for themselves (Mark 10:35), it was clearly the brothers who wanted more.

I sometimes wonder when I’ll be happy with the distance I have, using it the best way I can, and stop listening to the Sirens. And at the same time I wonder when I will accept gratefully the gifts I’ve been given and use them the best way I can for God’s glory instead of complaining that I don’t have more. There are days when I get that right, but there are still occasional days when I just want to hit it longer. So tie me to the mast when we pass by the Sirens, and help me instead to remember this song:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals [even those who hit it a long way or have a lot of money] do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5- 6, NIV)

Lewis Greer

March 5, 2013

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