In A Nutshell | October 2, 2020

The Nobility of a Straight Shooter

            If you have ever played golf with our very own Tom Wheeler, you know that he is a straight shooter. While my shots go right into the woods, left into the water, and short into the sand, his balls go right down the middle, time after time after time.

            I have been greatly blessed by our weekly outings during the past few months because when you play with Tom, your score on each hole is secondary to the overall experience as you soak in the beauty of nature and the warmth of fellowship.

            Not only that, but Tom is also exceptionally kind and gracious when it comes to the deficiencies in my game. He is quick to offer an encouraging word when I miss a two-foot putt (although he usually declares that anytime I’m within five-feet of the pin, I should “pick it up” — in other words, “it’s good”), and he never allows me to mark anything higher than a “7” on my scorecard.

            My experiences with Tom on the golf course have caused me to rethink some of the situations that I deal with in life and ask myself, “Is this really that big of a deal?” “Should I really be so upset over such a trivial issue?” “Can I not be better at overcoming the relatively minor setbacks that I encounter almost every day?”

            I’m not suggesting that golf is a metaphor for life, but there are many lessons that can be applied to the ways in which we respond to the obstacles we face. First, we should always be a straight shooter — with ourselves and with others. Jesus was certainly direct — sometimes even painfully so — when he admonished his disciples. We, too, should face the facts, tell the truth, and deal with the reality of the situation. At the same time, we need to take things in stride, understand that none of us is perfect, accept the fact that mistakes are a part of life — and move on.

            Most importantly, count your blessings and smile. Things could be worse, and for many people they are. Stand strong on the solid foundation that lifts you up and sustains you — the rock of your faith in Jesus Christ.

           There are many things that are out of our control, but there are a number of things that we can control. So instead of worrying about my next shot on the golf course or the next challenge I face in life, I need to step back, reflect on my many blessings, and give thanks for the fact that I serve a straight shooter, who is also incredibly kind, loving, forgiving, and merciful —  and in the end, that’s all that matters.

            If I find myself in the woods, or in the water, or in the trap, I know that there is a way out, and that He will lead and guide me. So why worry? What good does it do?

Let us find assurance in our faith and help others who are struggling by being a straight shooter who is also kind, caring, loving, and compassionate.

                                                           Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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