For me, the game of golf is a way to relax a little, take my mind off other things, and get a bit of exercise. I am not a good golfer by any means, but I can enjoy the game. I remember when I first started how frustrating it was. I would tee up my ball and take a club. I would line up the target and visualize the shot I was to play. Sadly my majestic shot with the ball following the exact course in my mind was seldom matched by the actual club striking the ball. It would either go a few yards in front of me or veer wildly to one side or the other, or if there were a water hazard, it would find its way into it. I decided to go and get some lessons to try and improve my game. A visit to a golf professional was beneficial and identified several things I could change and improve on. One of the main things I remember was my lack of good follow-through. I tended to chop at the ball instead of following through in a graceful arc.
It is not only in sport in general and golf in particular that following through is essential, but much of life and our faith require we follow through. Paul, writing to the church in Colossus, says, 'you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7). It's easy enough to start something but not always easy to follow through to finish it. So often, our enthusiasm at the start of a new venture wanes, and we lose interest. For many, the journey of faith can be like that. They enthusiastically accept Christ, perhaps responding to the Good News in the context of an emotional setting, and then realize they have bitten off more than they can chew. Is that true of us? We may have submitted to Christ and started the journey of discipleship, but in the end, that is not what counts. Like a game of golf, having committed to the shot, we need to follow through for it to matter, whether having put our hands to something, are we ready to follow it through to the end?
Is your faith still as genuine as it used to be, or does your follow-through need some adjustment to ensure you can finish the course? Just as in the game of golf, there are many hazards to avoid, so in our lives, we are often faced with challenges that we need to navigate to reach our final goal. Maybe you need to take a little time out to get help; there are plenty of resources to help you. Perhaps this can be our prayer this week?
'Living God, fill my heart with your love and draw near in your grace so that faith, my faith may stay as fresh today and every dy as the day it first began. Through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen' (Nick Fawcett)
Shalom to you my friend.