Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I like the game of golf. I am not very good at it, but I like it anyway. My main function in a foursome is to provide comic relief and buy beer. That's not to say I don't savor the challenge of the game however. I enjoy the hunt as I look for errant balls in the rough or the woods. I am thrilled when I actually land a ball on the fairway, especially if it's the fairway for my particular hole. If I use a ball with a Christian message, I feel somewhat better when I lose it. Who knows, somebody might find it and learn more about Jesus because of my strategic slice into the woods!

The best part of the game for me are the memories -- for I always have that one good shot that will keep me coming back for more. It could be the drive that landed farther than anyone else's, the chip into the hole, the putt drained from 40 feet --- these are all things memories are made of. Due to my selective memory, I tend to forget the double and triple bogeys, for those are routine. But it's that one outstanding shot that I replay over and over again that brings me back. I figure if I can do it once, I can do it again.

The other best part of the game is the "mulligan." A mulligan, most simply put, is a do-over. Hit a bad shot? Take a mulligan and replay that stroke. Mulligans are most often employed during friendly rounds with golf buddies or during charity events or tournaments where these valuable scoring commodities are sometimes sold. Yes, I love the mulligan. It's the chance to try again, improve my shot and do better.

As we enter 2011, many around the world engage in a ritual mulligan called the "New Year's Resolution." These resolutions usually involve a do-over in the areas of physical health, mental health, financial health, spiritual health or a myriad of other health-oriented revisions to one's life. The purpose of the resolution is to acknowledge the past as something less than perfect and to amend one's habits to improve the quality of life in the future. The resolution may be to spend more time with the family, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, enjoy life, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others, get organized, pray more and, well, you get the picture.

No matter what the resolution, the one common bond tying them all together is they are usually broken and forgotten by the end of January. Oh, the occasional exception happens, but just as the mulligan really doesn't make one a better golfer, so to the resolution doesn't make one a better person. (Okay, we can argue that point, if you like. My contention here is it is the doing and not the resolving that makes the difference.)

What if this year we don't make a formal resolution that gets broken by the end of January? What if this year we just do it? If we trip up and forget our intentions or get sidetracked or derailed somehow, we just get back on the saddle and keep after it. No questions asked. No self-condemnation over blowing it.

What if we begin these efforts today and get a jump start on the New Year? It's an amazing thing what one guy can do when he sets his mind to it.

All the best to each of you throughout the New Year as you strengthen your commitment to God and His work by, well, by just doing it.

Happy New Year!

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