Links Daily Devotional

A Bit of Healthy Ignorance

A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:27, NIV 1984)

As a high school coach, one of my key jobs is to try to climb into the mind of my players. I need to get a sense of their thinking, to understand and sometimes repair their decision making.

One thing I have learned is that I cannot know things for certain from afar. If I am standing across the fairway from a player who is dealing with tree trouble, for instance, I really can’t ascertain what he is seeing. I don’t know how much clearance he has side to side and up and down. I don’t know what his lie is telling him about how risky he can be. And if I’ve walked up late to the situation, I don’t know what effect his previous play has had on his confidence in this moment.

Those are a lot of variables. But here is something our high schools rule don’t allow me, even as a coach, to do: run over to that player and help him think through the shot. So I watch, sometimes with frustration and sometimes with pleasure, but always in ignorance.

It’s only after the round that I can ask my player what he had—was the opening big or small, had he taken too much risk or just hit the shot quite poorly, had the lie been unusually bad? I must wait to get my questions answered.

Our impatience (or at least our consternation) can make it hard to live through situations like this, and situations much bigger. In life, we can feel like we are standing at a distance, watching God do his thing. And it can take so long to get our questions answered.

The truth is, Solomon wrote in Proverbs 20, that the Lord is doing his thing. He is doing his thing his way. And if that’s not confounding enough, there really is no point in trying to understand. At least that’s the way Solomon saw it.

So is it true? Is our best option to let God have his way with our lives and hope it all comes out in the wash? Well, yes.

Which is why it is so important that what we lead with when we think of God is that he loves us. In fact, he abounds in love. And he is working all things “for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). Surely we know this verse. But do we remember it when the ignorance is flooding over us and all we want to know is, “WHY?!”

A number of years ago I worked on a little tract with Paul Stankowski, who was still a regular on the PGA Tour at the time. Paul asked, “Why me, God?” But he flipped this standard question on its head. He meant, “Why me, God? Why have you blessed me when I really am a sinner?”

If a moment of ignorance drives us to stand on what we know full well—that God is good and loving and blessing us every day with his forgiveness and grace—then we just might find that ignorance to provide a healthy dose of long-term perspective.

Jeff Hopper
April 27, 2015
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.