Well with yesterday being my last day of summer holidays, I decided to spend it at one of my favorite places: the golf course. I don't know what it is, but there's something about the game that just completely relaxes me. Maybe it's being in the middle of God's creation. Maybe it's spending quality time with my brother. Or maybe it's just because I get to throw all of my energy into making something an inch in size hurdle down a fairway 250 yards. Yeah I think that's it. ;)
Seriously though some of my best times with God have been while playing golf. Golf is also the sport where I've gotten a whole lot of illustrations from for devotionals and articles. And one of these illustrations came to me today.
You see with golf in order to swing properly you have to keep your head down while you're swinging. If you look up too quickly to try to follow where your ball is going, it's not going to end up where it should because you can't do a proper follow through by jerking your head up. No instead, you have to keep your eyes locked in place and trust that those around you are watching where the ball goes.
The same thing applies to us as Christians if we want to be effective in the ways we minister. To do it properly, we must keep our heads down, focused on the task at hand. The second we start looking up and around trying to count results before we're even finished, we mess up. We take a shortcut and as a result, lack in our follow through (and in the case of many Christians we lack in follow up).
This is the reason why churches don't grow when they count salvations instead spending that time training those new Christians to be disciples. This is the reason why some ministries grow in number, but collapse later under a shaky foundation. When we focus on numbers and results we lose sight of what's right in front of us. And when that happens, often what's right in front of us fails.
"The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." Psalm 121:8
Knowing that, doesn't it just make sense to keep our eyes on what they should be watching and trust God to watch over the rest? After all, our eyes aren't capable of seeing the whole picture. While we can see the physical, only God can see the complete spiritual picture and when we're using our gifts for Him, that's the only perspective that really matters in the end anyways.