Links Daily Devotional

A Place of Belonging

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:14-15, NIV)

My 2015 golf season has started off well. I have already played 45 holes and I have recorded a number of birdies. You might be wondering why this is a big deal for a retired tour professional? When I stopped competing five years ago, I openly hated golf. I have averaged less than 12 rounds per year since leaving the Tour. Slowly, however, my enjoyment for the game again has grown. This is why it’s a big deal for me to not only have played a few rounds in January but to have fun too.

An element of enjoying the game rests in the fact that I’m not preparing for a new season where my performance determines how much money I earn or what is my status. Both the PGA and LPGA Tour schedules are under way. Every professional, regardless of tour, begins in the same position on the money list—with $0.00. It’s a clean slate wrapped around hopes and dreams to earn the big check at the end of any given week. A tour player’s status is fluid and based on where you fall in the priority list. The higher one’s position, the more tournament opportunities become available. World rankings, prior year’s money list, tournament winners, and current year earnings are all factors that impact status. It can feel exhausting before ever teeing up.

Practice. Perform. Practice. Perform. Practice. Perform. This is the daily cycle of life for tour pros with no guarantees to win, no guarantees to earn money, and no guarantees in keeping your status.

After competing for more than 30 years at different levels, my separation from golf became the space where God captured my full attention. I was offered a choice. I could continue to hide behind my mask or I could be honest about how I felt enslaved to performance and the money list, and how I often played out of fear instead of joy. I chose the honesty, with the hope that deep in my soul I could truly believe in my adoption to daughtership and find my home with Abba, Father.

Jesus offers us the clean slate we long for. Our performance has no weight in the matter and we don’t have to re-earn it every year. There’s no expiration date in eternity. The Spirit we receive through the free gift of Jesus—his life, his death, his resurrection—gives us the only status we ever need: children of God. Nothing can take this position away from us!

A special treasure that has become an anchor for my heart along my journey toward home is the chorus of “This Is Home,” by Switchfoot.

This is home
Now I’m finally where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I’ve been searching for a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
This is home

Our true home is not where we sleep at night, in what we do during the day, or even in our memories. Home is in our hearts that are broken, yet they being healed and redeemed. I am home.

Tracy Hanson
January 29, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
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