Archive for October 5th, 2008

One Month to Live – Day 21 – Mulligan

The chapter for today is about golf. Now that got some of your attention.  Just the mention of that four letter word brings excitement and delight to some, but certainly not for all.  That is one game that doesn’t do a lot for me.  Too impatient, don’t play nearly enough to be good at it.  Chasing that little white ball around while it flies wherever it seems to choose just doesn’t do much for me.  It is a great way to spend time with people, and is a valuable tool for learning to bite my tongue rather than spew what I think after hitting that darn little ball.  And it certainly gives me at least, a chance to demonstrate some integrity.  The temptation out there on the golf course is to let my mouth rip and do a little cussing when my performance is below expectation, which pretty much describes every shot.  So I get numerous opportunities every time I play to be consistent in how I handle frustration.  John Wooden said it best: “Sports do not build character, they reveal it”.  And to be sure, there are lots of ways that can happen on the golf course.  Some of the rules seem pretty narrow minded to me too.  Not being able to move the ball so it is easier to hit – for crying out loud I am lucky to hit it if it is tee’d up and on a good spot.  Requiring it to go into that little hole rather than just get close seems a bit much.  Are you honest on the golf course or do you bend the rules a bit to fit your situation.  Integrity and character are measured by what you do when no one is looking, not by how well you hide what you want to do…..

 

Integrity is the opposite of image.  It is when your private life matches your public image.  Tough thing to really do.  We all have times that we are tempted to let our image get ahead of our private life.  When that happens it is difficult to contain the lie that we live.  It happens most often in areas related to those closest to us – in our deepest relationships.  We act one way in public with our spouse, but behind the closed doors of our home we treat them entirely differently.  This is one of the major reasons relationships fall apart.  People can’t have a deep relationship with Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  It just doesn’t work.   The other part of golf that is always tempting is the scorecard.  Do I really have to take that penalty stroke or strokes in my case, or can we just make some adjustments in the scoring.  Two things come to mind here.  First, integrity tells us how we need to keep score so if we are going to keep it at all, we need to do it with character.  But in life, scorekeeping can be a big issue.  We all make mistakes.  Certainly every relationship is full of people that are imperfect.  It requires a willingness to let go of the scorecard and just live life together.  But God has a scorecard we all will have to be measured against, and His actually requires perfection in living a life of holiness and godliness.  Note of us are going to make it.  The good news is that Jesus gives us the ultimate mulligan.  He died on the cross to fix my scorecard once and for all.  In fact, His blood of sacrifice allows me to not just have a mulligan, but to actually be handed a perfect scorecard with which I can face God.  I have to be willing to receive it.  I have to repent, confess and accept His salvation.  But when I do, I am given the gift of eternal life.  Don’t let your scorecard keep you from eternity with God.  Find the mulligan Jesus has offered and make it yours today.

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