Our mistakes can’t keep us from reaching the goal.
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“Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14 God’s Word to the Nations
This picture is of the par 5, 487 yard sixteenth hole at Oregon’s Tokatee Golf course on the McKenzie River, between the towns of McKenzie Bridge and Blue River, the course on which I learned to play. Many rank this course as one of the best in Oregon.
Maybe that’s why I can’t shoot under 100.
Though it has not been authenticated, people quote Mark Twain as saying that, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” It is a frustrating game. Your goal is to hit a tiny ball into a small hole that’s probably somewhere between 170 to 500 yards away, and you only have so many strokes to get it in the hole to be considered a good golfer. No one has ever accused me of being a good golfer. Yet, I keep playing.
I like a challenge.
The challenge of golf is the same as it was for Paul. To be successful you must forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the goal. Sometimes that’s very hard to do, especially when you’re standing over a two foot putt for birdie and you miss. That kind of mistake haunts a golfer for days.
We’ve made mistakes that haunt us not just for days but for months and years. Maybe we’ve failed in a marriage, gone bankrupt, or caused a serious accident. How was Paul able to forget his mistakes, his sins? He believed that they were forgiven through Jesus. He didn’t have to redo his life, only live the new life that God had given him through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The message of the cross turned Paul’s life around.
It is the message of the cross that turns our lives around. There is no mistake so great that it can’t be forgiven, buried, and done away with for eternity. It is the message of the cross that haunts Satan in his attempt to make us believe our sins are different, our mistakes can’t be forgiven. That’s a lie.
It’s this forgiveness that also points us to the goal that God has placed before us: the goal of living in his presence. We will reach the goal. God has guaranteed it.
So let’s enjoy this “round of golf,” and bask in the beauty of God’s creation, living for him as we know that we will one day be completely free of our mistakes.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner