It is completely fascinating to see a golfer perform during a match in a tournament. We arrived very early on Saturday and watched as the golfers arrived and began to meticulously prepare for that day's round. Practice tees to hit a variety of clubs and then to the putting green. Jordan Spieth went to the practice green first. His caddie got three balls out and tossed them at his feet. Jordan made a straight line with a club and then adjusted the balls about five feet from the hole and then began methodically putting the balls toward the hole. Phil Mickelson worked his way through his bag, starting with long irons before he went to his woods. It was all done with a purpose as caddies and maybe golf coaches gave feedback on the swing, the movement, the speed of the swing, and other items. And yes, you can hear it all as they banter with each other and work to perfect their game.
So, there is routine in excellence. You go through the motions to literally see if the motions are serving you well. It is said if Tiger Wood was slicing during practice, he worked to eliminate the slice, and then Jack Nicklaus said if he noted a slice or slight hook in his game during practice, he adjusted his stance to play the slice or hook during the round.
Me? I grab the clubs, stop for a breakfast burrito, get a diet Coke (the John Daly two cokes and a cigarette approach) and meet the group at the first tee. I stretch, and then hit. My game is literally my practice. I hit into situations, while the professionals practice to be ready to hit in situations. It made me think, "How many of us approach a day in our lives like my golf game and how many approach each day before us like a Spieth or Mickelson?" I'm guessing more of us approach it like my game than we do like the masters of the game. We go through the day landing on our feet in the morning and not stopping, except to eat maybe, until it's time to go to bed. No time to have our game examined or to analyze where we excelled and where we didn't and to ask what might have held us back from our expectations of excellence.
Christ expects that of us because he gave us the example in his own life. Prayer, meditation, lessons on life, and teaching and reaching others. We each have that ability at our disposal too. We are called to be Christ's disciples, each in our own vocation (calling). We have many who watch us and learn from us, starting in our families and growing out from there - colleagues, staff who answer to us, suppliers and vendors, people we touch each day in our lives at the store, the job, and other places.
God expects excellence. Do we work to meet those expectations? Again, as Paul writes, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Hope Men's Ministry