Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford talks with COO Jeff Hopper about how we can let our lives go in fruitless directions.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Magazine Insights 5: Climbing the Wrong Ladder

Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. (Ecclesiastes 5:15, NIV)

Working with young competitors, I can tell you that one of the biggest turning points comes when a player can self-diagnose in the middle of the round. If the ball is going left, they can tell you why and they make a correcting swing change. If the putts are missing right, they know what to do to fix it. These little adjustments can make the difference between rescuing a round and letting it get away.

This is a life well-lived, one given over to God rather than to the endeavors of men—even the most noble ones.As we walk through our life’s days, we would do well to possess the same ability. We would first be able to see that something is amiss, then we would find a way to go in a renewed direction. Sadly, though, frequently one or both of these steps does not happen.

The short Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes exposes the fact that it is easy to get caught up in the momentum of earthly pursuits and lose sight of what really matters. This was certainly true of NASA astronaut Charlie Duke, who is featured in this year’s Links Players Magazine. As a pilot, then an astronaut and a businessman, Duke kept pushing family and faith aside. It wasn’t an intentional dismissal of these things so much as a tunneled focus on work and success.

While typing these words onto a screen (me) or reading them on the other side (you), it can be relatively easy to say, “Ah, yes, I understand all this. This is a function of climbing the wrong ladder. You’re going up, but to where?” But in the throes of reaching the next level of accomplishment—whatever the endeavor—there is always a risk of being so consumed that we never stop to ask where we are really headed and why.

Here the writer of Ecclesiastes steps in with two valuable principles: take time to enjoy what you have been given and in wisdom look beyond this life to gain a reference for what is most important now.

Meditate on this for a few moments: “Whoever fears God will avoid [the] extremes” (Ecclesiastes 7:18). This is a life well-lived, one given over to God rather than to the endeavors of men—even the most noble ones. This is a life that tempers the pursuits of the day with eternal perspective.

Jeff Hopper
September 23, 2016
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