Summary: Advice for Graduating Seniors and us adults alike. Everything I nee to know about walking with Jesus I learned from golf
(All my sermons use illustrations from Sermoncentral.com and all scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
This year Rebecca and I graduated our first child, now there are only six to go and we are proud of each of them as they get closer and closer to that day. For the last two weeks I have thought about what advice I would give to the graduating Seniors here at our church and I believe I have come across one of those lessons they will be able to use for the rest of their lives and everyone in the room will benefit as well. I think that everything you need to know can be found in the game of golf, to be even more specific ALL we need to be successful can be learned from hitting a shot from the sand-trap on a golf course.
Now, before you decide that the preacher has finally lost the rest of his marbles let me explain. I truly love the game of golf, unfortunately, much like fishing I do not get to go as often as I would like. But the game of golf has taught me a lot about life, other people and myself. It has taught me to have patience, it has taught me that things rarely go the way you plan them to. It has taught me that when you take risks, sometimes they don’t pay off. Some people are very dedicated to the game of golf.
Fred got home from his Sunday round of golf later than normal and very tired. "Bad day at the course?" his wife asked. "Everything was going fine," he said. "Then Harry had a heart attack and died on the 10th tee." "Oh, that’s awful!" "You’re not kidding. For the whole back nine it was hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball, drag Harry."
This morning I want to take four simple lessons I have learned about hitting from the sand-trap and apply them scripturally to our lives today. The first of those lessons is that when you are hitting from the sand you must:
I. PLANT YOUR FEET FIRMLY
You have probably seen this on televison or on the news when they are showing highlights of the golf tournament from that weekend. The golfer has hit his shot into the sand bunker, and he needs to get it out and close to the cup. The first thing we see him do is plant his feet firmly. (Demonstration right on stage) Now I always thought this ritual was kind of funny, to see this adult male athlete doing what appears to be some warped version of the twist in the sand. BUT, after playing the game I understand that you must have your feet firmly planted for this difficult golf shot. I can tell our graduates and all people for that matter that this is exactly what the scripture tells us to do when it come to life. If you see Satan as the sand trap in the golf course of life, then planting your feet firm is step number one.
Look at the way Paul puts it in Ephesians 6:
Eph 6:10-14 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then,
In order to take a stand against the traps that Satan will set for each of us, the first thing we must do is stand firm. We must learn that if our feet are not firmly planted in the sand, or in this case in the Word. We will slip when we take that swing at the problems of life. When that day of evil comes, we need to be able to stand our ground. We need to have the courage and the strength to stand firm in the moment of crisis and this is done by putting on the full armor of God and standing firm.
In golf, not having your feet firmly planted can cause a lousy shot, but even worse you could hurt yourself badly. I have witnessed and even been a part of hitting a bad shot when the feet are not firmly planted. I have seen guys throw their golf clubs into the woods because they did not have their feet firmly planted. I can say to each of your graduates and to all people, this is one very important lesson in life that we can learn from the game of golf. Take a stand, stand your ground and STAND FIRM.