Monday, July 13, 2009

peacefully over-par

I picked Pearson up from his golf tournament today and listened as he described every stroke for his short, nine holes of play. He found himself trapped in several bunkers and even got caught in the weeds once or twice. Yet, surprisingly, his spirit was positive, optimistic and looking forward to a second round of play tomorrow.

In their book, The Mulligan: A Parable of Second Chances, Wally Armstrong and Ken Blanchard highlight the "NATO" principle. It affirms that, no matter what, I am "not attached to the outcomes." In other words, I am not my score. No matter how many shots I strike poorly or where I land, who I am isn't ultimately determined by how well I perform [which is really great news if you've ever seen me on the golf course]. With God, there is no scorecard.

This fits my focus on position and condition in yesterday's sermon [Colossians 3:1-4]. Some days, I'm on my game. Every mechanic of my spiritual life comes together and I play like a pro. I'm loving God, serving my family and making great choices with my time, money and resources. On other days, I feel like a Christian amateur, failing at all the fundamentals. My life is in the weeds or out of bounds. However, because of my position Christ, I am not my score. My condition may change, but my position is always par for the course. That truth keeps me coming back to the tee box, hoping to play a better hole each day.

3 comments:

The Batman said...

"Not attached to the outcome."

Wow, that was a double espresso with extra sugar to my spiritual veins. I love it when someone puts a name to a concept rattling around in my head when I'm unable to.

I know the reference is to our identity, but I think it's also applicable to prayers and life expectations.

You see, I used to live without joy. The best I could hope for was occasional happiness. To achieve that, I worked to control my external circumstances as much as possible to increase the odds of getting the outcome I wanted.

Then my parents died. Talk about an external circumstance you can't control.... God ripped away all my silly notions about what I can and can't expect from life. He redrew the boundaries that I had drawn too broadly and showed me that my expectations were unrealistic and unmeetable. He knocked down my house-of-cards happiness that was so dependent on externals.

And in the process...He gave me something much better than happiness--joy, a quality I don't think I had ever experienced before, at least not like this.

I still ask God for things I want, or for situations to work out a certain way. But the difference is, I'm "not attached to the outcome." I'm attached to Him.

David Daniels said...

Batman, very rich insight. Thanks for commenting.

Jerry said...

"On other days, I feel like a Christian amateur, failing at all the fundamentals. My life is in the weeds or out of bounds. However, because of my position Christ, I am not my score. My condition may change, but my position is always par for the course."----

That really hits the spot and totally matches what I am reading by Max Lucado called "Gripped By Grace". This is the 3rd time I am reading this book, but the message never gets old! Even though we may have a low score, because of our position in Jesus we are always at a perfect score! It's hard to comprehend, isn't it? How God will love us unconditionally even when we are at our worst. God does what other people and even we sometimes cannot do---love unconditionally. Sometimes when we put conditions to our love of other people, it's like putting strings on people turning them into puppets. However God doesn't do that. His love doesn't come with strings attached. Because of that, we are precious children in His sight---not puppets.