Links Daily Devotional

The Big ‘L’ in LINKS

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, ESV)

Jordan Spieth cut a wound in his chest that would leave a scar forever around Amen Corner on Sunday afternoon at the Masters.

“It hurt,” he said when a reporter asked him what happened.

It hurt many of us who watched.

The wound will heal but the scar will remain.Those of us who watched his collapse have our ideas about that “hurt.” I have one that came from a conversation I had with Gary Player shortly after he completed his U.S. Open win and fourth leg of his Grand Slam.

“I’ve seen three great qualities in you and other champions,” I said. “Desire, dedication and discipline. Which do you believe is the greatest?”

“Desire is the greatest,” he said without hesitation. “Dedication and discipline follow almost unnoticed.”

I mention this in context with Jordan’s loss because he, like Gary and other great champions, has given his life for his sport. He fell in love with it as a young boy and his desire has been to be his best at it.

That hurt Sunday afternoon came because he failed to do what he knew he could do: finish. He failed to live up to his expectations of himself. And he let down his loved ones, fans, and himself.

Of course it hurt.

The wound will heal but the scar will remain.

I have a scar on my cheek that’s a good reminder from a fall from a hiking trip that could have taken my life. A scar can be a good reminder. And an occasion to be thankful.

When we wrote the LinkS acrostic, it was to remind each of us who become part of God’s family in golf that the first and greatest of all commandments is to Love God with all of our beings and do what is pleasing to him (see John 8:28-29).

You may be thinking, If I’m honest with myself I do not love God. I would have answered in the negative, too, for a good part of my life.

The Big L of the LinkS acrostic reminds me of the Good News that Jesus died for all my shortcomings.

His message today is the same as the in the First Century. He is God’s gift to me. He wants me to step down as king of my life and step into his kingdom. He offers me and anyone a new love, a new birth, a new citizenship, and freedom from sin and its consequences.

Jordan, like all of golf’s great champions, fell. But the hurt from some of my worst of falls has helped me get back in kilter with the Big L. Jordan learned a hard lesson at Amen Corner. But we’ve seen him bounce back. He’ll do it again, probably sooner than later.

You and I can benefit from a lesson Jesus taught Simon the Pharisee. It is key to living out God’s Greatest Commandment.

I will paraphrase what Jesus said: “Simon, when you figure how much God loves you, you will love him much.” If you can spare a few minutes, you may want to ponder this story in Luke 7:37-50.

Jim Hiskey
April 19, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.