Links Daily Devotional

A Wreck of Sundays

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38, NIV)

When Charley Hoffman sent his birdie putt right down the line and into the cup to win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday afternoon, it was easy to root for the guy. This was such a far cry from the wreck Hoffman had been making of Sundays this season. Heading in to the final round at the Valero, he was 25-over-par total on Sundays—worst on Tour.

This time, though, Hoffman kept striking the ball cleanly and while Patrick Reed threw a daunting tap-in birdie at the Californian on the final hole, Hoffman this time finished what he had come to do.

The eternal reward, the paycheck, has been earned by Christ and gifted to us. But there is still value in our disciplines.There is no question that we can all relate to Charley Hoffman. In our life’s efforts, even on the spiritual front, we have made a wreck of Sundays. In fact, every honest Christian has done precisely that, showing up for church in every condition but ready. Here we’ve come to worship and we’re doing so after a session of chippiness with our spouse or downright frustration with our children.

That’s a common picture, of course, almost a caricature. Truth is, we have made a wreck of most every spiritual discipline at one time or another—trading Scripture reading for another half hour of television, turning focused meditation into a swirl of anxious thought and, just like those early disciples, falling asleep in prayer.

Are you kicking yourself right about now? Seeing your slip-ups and wondering how God is willing to be patient with you yet again?

Here’s what we know, however: While religious practice has no currency, it has value. For that reason, we do well to pick ourselves up, refocus our efforts, and set down new disciplines.

Let me explain. No tour player gets paid for practicing. Payday only comes one day a week and only for those who play well enough to collect. But this does not make practice meaningless. Far from it! Practice is of value because of the result it can produce.

It is likewise true that spiritual practices have no currency; that is, they carry no eternal weight. The eternal reward, the paycheck, has been earned by Christ and gifted to us. But there is still value in our disciplines, for by them we unite with our Savior, doing the work that he did in strengthening his relationship with the Father.

This is the relationship we all want to cultivate, and we do so in consistency of worship, reading, meditation, prayer, service, and other spiritual practices. Have we fallen asleep today? Let us awaken for tomorrow! Let us maintain an energy that will allow us to come to the day of victory with all systems go!

Jeff Hopper
April 27, 2016
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