What do you want most?
I am in Florida for a few months, hanging out with my mom and sister. My sis and I have a running golf competition. There’s a lot at stake: lunch. At the end of a month (I keep a running tally) I announce the loser (often me) and we go to lunch on my dime. Connie and I get along very well so it is a friendly competition…on the outside. We are not barbarians after all. But apparently we are competitive.
I think we have established a rule for just about any scenario: one mulligan per 9 holes, one stroke penalty for lost ball, etc. I am not certain how closely our rules align with those of the PGA but they work for us. When weather permits we are able to golf 2-3 times a week. I love being with my sister and I really enjoy golf…most of the time.
This summer my golf game has struggled…its circling the drain most days. The June tally was strongly in Connie’s favor. I still owe her lunch. I think it must be my golf clubs. The thing is, when I let bad golf totally ruin my attitude and my joy, it’s because I’ve forgotten what I want most: to spend time with my sister. That’s why I’m here and that’s one big reason why we play golf together.
The good Lord only knows how many times every day I forget what I want most. I want my life to be saturated with peace regardless of my circumstances. Yet I still try to pack too much into it, I fret about what I should be doing, or I allow worry or anxiety to take over when there’s little I can do about the endangered humphead wrasse today. It’s one thing to care about stuff, its another to lose track of what matters most.
The lesson from golf is a lesson for life: keep focused on what you want most and live toward that. If you hate golf, stop playing. If you love golf but hate your clubs…you are probably playing the blame game (your clubs have no soul and no ill intent toward you…they neither love you nor hate you…just sayin’). If beating someone else is the sole reason you play, then stop it. That’s silly.
In the broader sense, look at how many ways you order your life with things that don’t lead to what you want most. It’s not always easy to know what we want most, but it is a noble quest to look for it. I have found that learning to name what I want most makes living it possible. [Note: if the ‘what you want most’ is a person or thing then that’s a different issue…its too small a goal. What is it you believe that person or thing will do for you? Okay…this is getting complicated…I’ll let that go for now.]
Life has never been perfect and will ever become so in this world. Stuff happens. Pain happens. Loss happens. But joy happens, too. Love happens. Goodness happens. In my life God has always proven to be faithful to His word. He is who is says He is, He does what He promises and He loves perfectly always. Trusting in that is what I want most. Loving my sister more than beating her is part of that. Consider today what it is you need and want most so you can put your heart and energy toward what matters most. I encourage you to put God into that equation.
Psalm 39:6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
Psalm 136:23 He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.
John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
Matthew 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Acts 17:27 His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.
Psalm 105:4 Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.