Links Daily Devotional

The Winning Attitude, Part 7

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God… (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

Two hours before dark I hurried into the golf shop at Bay Hills Country Club, purchased a cart, and motored to the first tee hopeful I could finish nine before dark. I couldn’t see anyone on the course.

I hooked my drive in the left trees, threw down a second ball and cut it into the right rough. Decided to play the ball in the rough, wedged it to the green, and two-putted for par. Off to the next tee. Another ball in the right rough. Rushed to spot where I saw my ball bounce into the woods. Couldn’t find it. Threw a ball out, took four shots more. Didn’t putt out.

Third hole, hooked two balls into left trees.

After six holes, no change, ball going right and left.

On seven, dogleg right, I hit three balls off the tee, two in the trees, two right, one left. I found one ball.

Fortunately, it was getting dark.

I’m supposed to lead a golf trip to Scotland with 11 men next week, I thought. I can’t get the ball in the fairway. I need help.

I was determined to see Todd Howard, my PGA golf instructor and friend, the next day.

Todd obliged. He watched me for three minutes.

“You’re slumped over,” he said. “Keep your head up.”

“Up?” I looked back at him shaking my head.

He took some video. Sure enough, my shoulders were slumped. My cheek was almost on my chest, so I was stuck on my downswing and couldn’t get the club back square at impact.

Todd, the expert, said, “Keep your head up,” opposite of what I’d been taught since I was a teenager. And he was right. I could see it on video.

The attitude that wins in heaven is up too. Our tendencies as homo sapiens is to slouch when we find something that doesn’t set right with us. To believe the worst.

The attitude that wins substitutes a positive for a negative. Instead of “being anxious” about something negative, it substitutes “giving thanks…giving thanks in all things.”

Change is hard. I’m working hard on keeping my head up when addressing the ball and keeping that same spine angle through the swing. If I am going to hit the ball straight with some consistency, I need to make this change. But it’s not easy.

Giving thanks in all things is not easy either, especially when a disaster strikes. But for the man or woman who makes this a habit, “… the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, ESV).

Jim Hiskey

August 19, 2013

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