Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Follow the Dress Code

In August, a friend invited me to participate in my first golf tournament. The event was held at an exclusive, private club which has a dress code. Understand that until that day, I'd only golfed in a t-shirt, jeans (or my favorite, bleach-stained shorts) and sneakers. This event required me to wear modest length shorts (not really a problem for me), a collared shirt (no t-shirt) and appropriate shoes. Therefore, I was forced to purchase my first ever pair of golf shoes.

I'm not a great golfer(truly the understatement of the year), but on this day, in my new shoes, I noticed my swing was better than usual. Not great, but better. My girlfriend, Karen (an experienced golfer) commented that I did a good job of keeping my feet straight and still. I attributed this to my new, cleated shoes. In my sneakers, I was probably moving my feet ever so imperceptibly, which was affecting my golf swing. No matter how hard I would try to keep them still, my sneakers were not offering me the stability required.

I thought of this while listening to a sermon recently. The speaker mentioned the passage in Ephesians regarding the armor of God which got me thinking of the part that says "as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace".

Honestly, I do not live the gospel of peace. I get caught up in the shoulda, coulda, wouldas of life and they rob me of peace. Though I know better, I still try to regulate my life with lists, achieving spiritual acceptability through good deeds, etc. but like golfing in sneakers, a life of legalism and salvation by works throws off my spiritual swing and I never reach where I'm aiming. The gospel of peace (through the grace of God through Jesus) keeps my feet and therefore my life steady and straight. I could donate thousands of dollars and hours to charitable works and live the letter of biblical law, but without those "cleats of peace" my feet unintentionally slip and send me into a spiritual rough.

It amazed me at what an impact such a small investment in golf shoes could make on my golf game. Accepting the gospel of peace costs even less than those shoes. God's provided the appropriate footwear and they fit perfectly. I just need to take the time to put them on.

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