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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Ruth 1:20, 21 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (CSB)