Links Daily Devotional

All the Other Stuff

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8, ESV)

Here’s a name you’ve probably not heard: Vetle Maroy.

Yes, Maroy is a golfer. A Norwegian golfer, actually. Playing junior college golf in Odessa, Texas. Got all that? Those are the incidentals behind the remarkable story that just may make Maroy the most thankful golfer on the planet this month.

Two weeks ago, Maroy was playing in his team’s home event, the annual Odessa College Classic on the Links Course at Odessa Country Club. On the par-5 seventh hole, Maroy drove his ball into the trees right of the fairway, leaving him a blind 240 yards to the hole. He stepped aside, picked out a line, then stepped back over the ball and let her fly. Although Maroy himself couldn’t see it, the ball landed short of the green, took a big hop, traced its way to flagstick, and fell in the hole. Double eagle! Or as they’re more likely to say on Maroy’s side of the Pond, an albatross, any golfer’s dream.

Well, maybe not any golfer’s dream. Because unless you’re a long hitter, your dream is more likely a hole-in-one. And that’s where the story gets amazing. When Maroy arrived at the thirteenth, a 160-yard par-3, he pulled an 8-iron from his bag and sent the ball flying again. This time he watched the whole thing as the ball hit beyond the flag, bit well, and spun backwards into the cup for an ace!

As golfers, we would all be thankful for one or the other, a hole-in-one or a double eagle. That’s obvious. Heck, we’re thankful for birdies and pars and sometimes even bogeys. But we’re also pretty good at being thankful for some of the other stuff the game allows: friendships and exercise and outdoor beauty.

Sometimes in life it isn’t easy to remember the other stuff. We remember provision and thank God for that—when the bills are paid and food is on the table. But when that provision is maintained, we start to look for “better things” for which to thank the Lord—when the big deal is closed, when we’re driving a car that turns heads as well as corners, when we’re relaxing on that resort vacation.

All of these things, though, should be cleared aside for those other things, the blessings too often forgotten. The psalmists thanked God for his wondrous works, his holy name, his mercy, his goodness, and his righteous judgments. The apostle Paul offered thanks for grace and fellowship and ministry and spiritual gifts and the triumph of Christ.

You see, our thanksgiving lists can be widely expanded when we attend to the work of God in minds and hearts and souls. When we look beyond the plain we see the plenty and our lips are set to singing the praises of the one who supplies all things.

Jeff Hopper
November 26, 2014
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