Monday, February 8, 2016

The Perfect Swing

Every so often in the midst of this cold winter weather I find myself thinking of the warmer days and the perfect golf swing.  The perfect golf swing delivers the proper club head speed, swing plane and impact zone that propels the golf ball exactly where you plan it would go - right down the middle and a good distance down the fairway every time.  That is the perfect golf swing.

It's a swing that is in my thoughts, not usually my golf bag.  Sure, every so often I can catch a close to perfect shot and that keeps me coming back to the game.  But the game of golf is spent dealing with and adjusting to the swings that are not so perfect.

So it is with life and the question of how can we lose our fire for God?  Oft times we take swings of faith at the challenges of life - sometimes they are good swings, perhaps even perfect ones.  the good to perfect ones usually get us to where we hope to go.  But we have to admit that sometimes (maybe most times) our efforts fall short and we become discouraged and downcast when our less that perfect attempts find a hazard or go out of bounds.

One of the things that can dampen our fire for God is when this happens.  When our best efforts fall short and we struggle with how to get back on track.  It's hard.  It's difficult.  It makes life challenging.  It's not easy.

The birth of Jesus comes as the remedy to this problem: a Babe born of an unwed mother – no earthly paternal father. Born in a stable – a place of poverty and uncleanness – animals, dirt, feces, bad smells.  The offspring of Galileans, a people who were not respected or admired even by their fellow Jews.  A child raised in obscurity in a remote corner of a poor land under the heel of Roman Domination.  How less than perfect do you want?

That’s really the point: our faith does not require us to become perfect to attain merit or favor from our Creator.  Through the teachings of the New Testament, we see that perfection is not a prerequisite for entering into a relationship with God.  Instead, perfection is the outcome of our relationship with God.  We are perfected by our faith.  We do not need to do anything to merit it, other than to believe.

This means you are accepted, and acceptable, just as you are.  You are loved, and lovable, just as you are.  You are valued, and valuable, just as you are.

Don't worry about always trying to live the perfect life.  God has you covered.

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