Daily D – Jeremiah 10:23-24
I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. JEREMIAH 10:23-24 (NLT)
My bride and I began taking golf lessons this summer. I took lessons thirty years ago when I moved to a town of three thousand residents with two eighteen-hole golf courses.
Soon after moving there, I was asked by an older gentleman, “Do you play golf?” When I responded that I did not, my new friend said, “The pastor of First Baptist Church has to play golf!” Who knew? This fact was not included in my seminary curriculum.
My golf instructor took an interest in me and taught me the best he knew how. After a couple of years of steady play, I stopped playing with any regularity. Now all these years later, I have discovered that almost everything my first instructor taught me was wrong.
If at first you don’t succeed, you’re about average. Trips to the driving range are much more enjoyable these days. I will not be as embarrassed at Top Golf anymore. All it took for me to become more comfortable and to have more fun was a bit of course correction.
Success in any endeavor requires course corrections. No baseball player bats a thousand for long. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Knowing this to be true, why would we think we could plan our own lives with great precision? Many people act as if they are quite capable of captaining their own ship and are shocked when they end up in the wrong port, or worse.
What Jeremiah says in this text is appropriate for those who seek God’s direction day by day and moment by moment, as well as for those who only occasionally ask him what steps to take.
There are two parts of a good prayer that emerge from this text. First, ask for God’s direction day by day, and not only when you face a major life decision like marriage or a career change.
Second, invite God to provide course corrections as often as necessary. Life is a lot more fun when you know how to play the game. Also, life is more enjoyable when we do not place ourselves in situations where God’s correction is necessarily harsher.
My first golf instructor got one thing absolutely right. He brought a five-gallon bucket of balls to our lessons. He would dump a dozen or so on the ground and ask me to swing away. At one point he stopped me and said, “The object is not to hit all of the balls. The object is to hit each ball right.”
Enjoy your swings today. Swing as right as you know how. Ask God for better intentions and more proper execution.
I will seek God’s direction and correction.
Our Father, show me the way I should go. Correct me as often as necessary. I want to go where you want me to go and to do what you want me to do. You are a much better life planner than am I. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.