Lesson Learned In The Dark

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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It's 11:00 on a Saturday night and I'm standing in the middle of a golf course. The darkness has dropped to the point where I can barely see what is in front of me. In fact, the only two things I can see is my golf ball, thanks to the glow-in-the-dark strip in it, and the pin at the end of the whole, which is also wrapped in glow-in-the-dark material. I'm unable to see bunkers or water hazards or the course boundaries. Yet, I'm expected to golf under these conditions- golf well at that.

Not expecting much, I line up to take my first shot off of the tees. My eyes stay locked on the glowing ball and off goes my swing. To my great surprise, the ball flies long and straight towards the pin. By the end of the night (after playing one of the best golf games of my life) I came to the conclusion that I really like playing golf at night. Now to you this may not make much sense, but hear me out.

My golf game usually has one fatal flaw: I can never seem to keep my eyes on the ball. I'm often looking to avoid hazards, or nervously glancing back at the other players watching me, or subconsciously preparing myself to yell 'fore'. At night, all of these distractions were eliminated and I was only aware of two things: where the ball is now and where it must end up.

As I thought about this strange golfing phenomenon, I realized how relevant it is to my everyday life.

To be completely honest- many days my future looks as unseen as that golf course did at night. Even though I have an idea of where I would like to go in life, in truth, I don't know for sure how things are going to turn out. In fact, the only solid thing I know about my life is where I am today and where I'll be at the end of my days on earth. Strangely enough, those thoughts are beginning to not scare me.

One of the reasons why our lives are so exciting is because God has our days laid out much like that golf course. He hands us a ball, more clubs then we'll ever need, and tells us to keep our eyes on the ball when we swing and in the end, we'll eventually end up at the pin. There's no guarantee that we will stay clear of hazards or that no one will try and steal our ball or that our the game won't end earlier than we thought. We do have a guarantee though, that the ball will always be lit and be easier found amidst the darkness that invades our lives. After all, God is light and if we keep our eyes on His Son when we swing, life works out the way it was intended to.

I wouldn't kid you though- this way of living life is not always easy. It's hard to trust God with tomorrow when you don't know what that step of faith all entails. But in many ways, this way of living is the only way we can be free of worry and filled with peace. How so? Well, by not seeing what the future holds it allows me the peace to enjoy today and gives me the opportunity that to trust that God knows what is best when it comes to tomorrow. Imagine what life would be like if we knew the struggles and trails that were coming our way? Our lives would be filled with anxiety and worry. And what fun would it be if we could see the good times laid out in front of us instead of just experiencing them in joy and surprise? Living in the unknown makes life that much more of an adventure and makes it that much more enjoyable. As Mike Clay once said: "We don't always need to know where we are going as long as we know whom we are following."

Yes, we have no guarantee of what is coming tomorrow or in ten years from now. We don't know if we'll ever get married or avoid financial hardship or live to see age eighty, but that doesn't really matter. In the midst of the darkness of our futures we have all the light we need to see here and now, and in that thought alone we can be strangely comforted.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.