2 Corinthians 8:10-11
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
Our score in golf is similar to having a “no hitter” in the sixth inning. We feel it best not to talk about it until the last putt is made on the 18th hole or the 27th out is made. We know that disaster is possible at any time until we make it back to the clubhouse. The same is true in baseball. A pitcher can have a no-hitter going into the ninth inning. Instead of finishing up the historic performance, he gives up a couple walks which are followed by a home run. Perfection resulted in only “near perfection” and a loss.
Our Christian walk is much of the same. We have great intentions in the beginning, but allow the world and “life” get in our way of actually completing our plan. Our Christian service has ebbs and flows which are marked by the twists and turns of our life. Throughout his writings, we are encouraged by Paul to “stay the course” and keep our mind “on the main thing” throughout our journey.
We always have great excitement at the beginning of any project. Consider that last home improvement job you undertook at the behest of your spouse. It was exciting to visit Lowe’s to but the materials and unbox the flooring while you pictured the beautiful hardwood throughout your bedroom. This elated feeling quickly changed as you attempted to pull up the old carpet and remove all the staples to prepare an even surface for the wooden planks. As the hours (and days passed), we found uneven or bowed pieces which required creative engineering to make them work. Disgust and fatigue began to set in as did thoughts to just call in a professional to finish the project. We soon realized we haven’t actually completed anything and created more of a mess than a masterpiece. Nevertheless, we persevered (at the nagging and urging of said spouse) and finally completed the job.
In 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Paul reminds us that the same readiness that we have at the beginning of our service is the same zeal and determination that we have to maintain until the job is completed. The Holy Spirit gives us this resolve to accomplish what we set out to do in the beginning. Our bodies and “mentals” left to our fleshly reserves have a quitting nature. Paul wrote about the importance of both our readiness and our performance. The presence of Christ within us at the time of salvation gives us the desire and instruction to begin our ministry. His presence also enables us with an enduring power to complete our “course” unto the end.
I started this series of golf themed devotions with the intent of writing 365 pieces. The great excitement at the beginning was met with internal doubts among with way. However, your encouragement and God’s presence has allowed me finish this course. As I write entry 365, I encourage you to keep the faith in times of discouragement. We have a few more holes to play in our round of life. If God has entrusted us with a job, He will empower us to complete it! I sincerely appreciate each of you riding along.