Links Daily Devotional

A Faithful Pre-shot Routine

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25, NASB)

What is our default when we are faced with a difficult shot on the golf course? We need to develop a routine for every shot no matter the circumstance. This forms a habit that we can depend upon. The rhythm, the time, and the tempo should always be a part of the process that is repeatable in all situations. I have pre-shot routine that my friend Jeff Hopper still complains is way too long. Jeff sometimes goes to sleep watching it unfold like a rusty lawn chair.

We are merely seed planters with a pre-performance routine. The harvest belongs to God.More importantly, how do we prepare for a challenging task in our ministry, our business, or our relationship challenges? The outcome may always be different, but how we prepare can be consistent and reliable.

The Harvard Business review explains: “Our findings suggest that performing a ritual before entering a stressful situation can reduce feelings of anxiety and improve performance. We encourage readers to adopt pre-performance rituals during stressful situations in their own lives, perhaps before a presentation at work, taking an exam, or having a difficult conversation. We recommend that individuals prepare a small but meaningful ritual, something deliberate and short that can be completed easily before entering the stressful situation.”

I need a pre-performance routine. I recently was asked to speak at a luncheon in Houston to deliver a brief testimony before the main speaker. I have used this routine many times and it helps calm me. Think about what you can do to develop your own routine.

1. I recite a verse I learned years ago that I can repeat quickly and easily. It is Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” I feel his presence and imagine his joy. The verse calms me.

2. I say to myself, “Focus.” This helps me think clearly, and the focus is always on the message of Jesus, not myself. I remember Hebrews 12:2: “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Our primary focus is Jesus.

3. Think about what is really important here. It is not what they ultimately think about you, but what they hear about Jesus because of you. I have a pastor friend who has placed a plaque in the pulpit that he can easily see every Sunday: “Let them see Jesus.”

This routine helps me to forget about the results so I can be myself. We are merely seed planters with a pre-performance routine. The harvest belongs to God. He may even use us as we draw on his presence and focus on what matters most. Jesus.

Randy Wolff
June 6, 2017
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