Links Daily Devotional

The Winning Attitude, Part 11

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

Orville Moody’s yips began to disappear. By year-end he had won enough money to keep his PGA Tour card.

His attitude had changed. He’d made a habit of giving thanks in all things and his game had improved.

By mid-June 1969, he had survived local and regional qualifying tournaments to gain a spot in the U.S. Open field at Champions Golf Club in Houston, not far from his home.

After a practice round with Lee Trevino, Lee told some reporters that Orville would win.

He was headed for that win when he hit his bunker shot on the 67th hole. If I can make this four-footer, I’ll have a two-shot lead, he said to himself. But he misread the putt. “I felt like I’d blown a four-foot putt that might cost me the U.S. Open,” he told me later. “When I teed off on fourteen, I was still thinking about it and hooked my shot into the pines.”

“As I walked up the fairway I tried to be positive,” he said. “I looked up and said, ‘Thank you God. I know this tournament isn’t the end of the world.’”

Orville chipped back into the fairway and salvaged a bogey. Now four or five players could win, including Miller Barber, Dean Beman or Arnold Palmer.

Orville played flawless the four closing holes. One by one, his competition fell and on the 72nd hole he nailed a 14-foot putt to win what many believe is the most coveted title in golf.

A few minutes later he received a telephone call, “Hello, Orville, this is Dick Nixon. Congratulations.”

“Who?” Orville asked, still in a daze.

“Dick Nixon. Not often a sergeant comes out of the Army after 14 years of service and wins the U.S. Open.”

“Yes sir, Mr. President, it’s the first time.”

There’s a first time for all of us. Orville learned to substitute negative self-talk with “giving thanks in everything.” It became a habit. If he was alive today, he would say these few words helped him do what he never dreamed possible.

We may never win a great title like Orville Moody, but these few words can help lead a person to victory over anger, gluttony, depression, passivity or another adversary.

It’s never too late to make a habit of giving thanks in all things.

You can begin by memorizing 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Meditate on it day and night. Pray through it phrase by phrase. It will do more for you than winning a U.S. Open title, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it doesn’t help another talented young pro win the U.S. Open someday.

Jim Hiskey
December 12, 2013
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