“While I don’t play much golf any more,” Stan began, “I occasionally go to the driving range to hit some balls. Just to keep the feel.”
Continuing, he said, “I was there the other day. There was a fellow next to me. He was having a really hard time hitting the balls straight, and they were not going very far. Just about every ball he hit was off line. I could see that he was getting frustrated.”
“Did you say anything to him?” I asked.
“I did,” Stan replied. “He’s not a close friend, but I know him well enough so I felt comfortable asking him if he needed any help.”
“How did he respond to that?” I asked.
“He said he would welcome any help he could get,” Stan replied. “He indicated that he went to the driving range just about every day to practice, but he didn’t seem to be getting any better.”
Continuing, Stan said, “I suggested to him that maybe he was practicing the wrong thing, or at least practicing in the wrong way.”
“Were you able help him?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “I had him hit a few balls while I watched what he was doing.”
“I had him show me how he was gripping the club. I suggested some change in that. I could see that he was not really lined up properly to hit the ball. In addition, it looked like he was not swinging through the ball in order to get any distance.”
Continuing, Stan said, “I had him make some adjustments to what he was doing.”
“Did the adjustments help?” I asked.
“He started hitting the balls straight and they were going a lot further,” Stan replied, “so I guess I was able to help. He seemed to think so.”
“All a matter of practicing the right thing the right way,” I responded.
“Exactly, my friend,” Stan said. “Just like what the apostle John was writing about in his first letter.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“In essence,” Stan replied, “what John wrote to me is that I will be what I practice to be. So the question that I have to allow the Holy Spirit to ask me continually is ‘What am I practicing, and how am I practicing it’.”
Concluding, he said, “It’s just like those who say, ‘You are what you eat’. I will be what I practice! If I practice sin, that’s what will result. Same with righteousness. I have to give everything about me to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Give it and then follow His lead in what He has for me to practice!”
No one who is born of God practices sin, . . . 1 John 3:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth of what you want me to practice, as well as how you want me to practice, by giving all of me to the leading and help of the Holy Spirit. I confess that too often I practice walking away from you, rather than walking with you. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead so that I truly practice only and all you have for me to practice. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.