Links Daily Devotional

“That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27, ESV)

While watching the Masters, I heard players and announcers alike say how pure and true the greens played all week. Early in the week Zach Johnson said, “If you hit it on line, the ball will go in.” The smooth surfaces were fast and challenging, but also offered endless possibilities.

God has given us life with endless possibilities when anchored in his Word and Jesus’ extravagant love.Fast greens are not the usual standard for daily member play. It’s an unnerving experience for even the top players in the world to strike a putt on Augusta National’s greens. It requires a high level of trust that develops after hours of preparation on and around the greens. Yet even the best of the best have felt the burn of a four-putt. And then there was the heart-wrenching six-putt Ernie Els endured on his opening hole.

Confidence with the flat stick can be fragile and cannot be manufactured. Trying harder creates tension, shallow breathing, tight muscles, and an increased heart rate that most often results in a fright or flight response. Within seconds, our ability to sort through the information being received by our senses shuts down as the brain prepares to protect itself.

Ernie Els explained his moment well, “You’re out of the tournament. It’s very difficult. You have a three-footer for par and walk off with a nine. What do you do? You work at the game and then you get a funny feeling and then you can’t take the putter back. How do I fix it? Give me a brain transplant. You tell me. I don’t know. I had a guy I was working with and felt good going in and then you can’t take the putter back and you look like a fool. I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”

Yep. I have experienced this same crazy-making and hopeless defeat on many occasions. Golf is played in a defined time and space, but it changes daily and is unpredictable. This is why I’m thankful golf is just a game.

Life is also given in an appointed time in history with boundaries for a specific purpose. Life feels crazy-making and unpredictable. Life can hold the same tension that a fast, breaking five-foot putt does. Life requires a level of trust that develops over time, through mishits, par saves, and breakthrough wins.

But there is one distinct difference between golf and life. Golf always leaves us empty in our pursuit for significance, and our ability to play the game at any level will end. God has given us life with endless possibilities when anchored in his Word and Jesus’ extravagant love. He’s not hiding or waiting for us to master the greens before we can find him. God aches for us to seek him and to feel our way toward him. He is not far from each one of us. He is eagerly waiting to be found.

Tracy Hanson
April 14, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.