A Journey in………perseverance Par 5

 

The moment I first saw this picture of PGA Professional Dustin Johnson, I was elated for him—elated for him because his winning of the 2016 U.S. Open was the culmination of a quest he had been pursuing since 2008.

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                                     Dustin Johnson after winning the 2016 United States Open

                                        Credit Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports, via Reuters                      

The winning of a PGA Golf tournament is to say the least challenging. To win one of the four professional Golf tournaments, conducted world wide that carries the prestigious descriptor “Major” is a very big deal. To wear the title Champion in any “major” provides that champion immediate and lasting gravitas in the eyes of his player colleagues as well as the golfing public in general. The majority of all Professional golfers never achieve “major” winner status throughout their entire career.

When I looked at Dustin’s picture, a second time, I was struck by what the camera had captured on his face. What I saw in his expression was the look of a man who has just emerged from the pit of hell victorious and still not sure it’s true.  Is this a correct interpretation of the look on Justin’s face?  I don’t know but here are things I do know about DJ.  He has kept grinding week after week, month after month, year after year through the heartbreak of close loses in multiple “majors” earning him the moniker “best player in golf never to win a Major (…until June 19, 2016 in his 29th appearance in a major).

Spotty play, some brilliant, some not, including bouts with substance abuse and a self imposed six month hiatus from the tour to address “personal issues” in his life and the birth of a son in 2015 have all been contributors to the face I see in the picture. All that and he still has managed to be one of the few players on tour  to have won at least one tournament every year he has been on tour and his recorded career earnings through the end of 2016 were are in excess of $39 million Dollars. 

At this point I have to ask myself why should you or I care about this story of Johnson’s perseverance?  My simple response is that I care because it is advisory as to how I choose to address the ongoing challenges I face daily, weekly, annually and yes, for a lifetime.

To me, Dustin’s story, both public and private, is one of perseverance—the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” *  His picture reminds me of the not so pretty struggles and the occasional victories that comprise my life and the demand that I remember…all that has gone before is now history. I can ignore it, or grow from it, but I can’t get those back and rewrite history. Advisory, to me, is that learning from my yesterdays takes daily practice and perseverance, whether I want to practice or not.

While my profession is not golf, I face the same general challenges you or Dustin Johnson face. Think about it. We all face family, financial, career, social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual challenges daily.  Each of us is different in how we address those challenges but it is undeniable that they are there. I am challenged to look at and honestly review my response and behavior in each of the areas I have listed. How well am I persevering in each of these areas or do I even care? Do I face them head on and work through them? Or, do I put them in the tomorrow, next week or some time in the future basket?

I am confident I need to pay closer attention to the amount of integrity I exercise at the moment of choice, meaning I need to monitor my willingness and perseverance to deal with the most important things at any given moment.

This I know for sure. The task is much too large for me to handle alone. It is definitely a journey, not simply a group of events strung out one after another. I need the help of family and friends and most of all from my Maker. For me, it takes a significant amount of perseverance and teamwork, by all involved, on a daily basis.

So I start each day with a simple reminder planted deep in my heart…”This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NLT) and then I strive to pay attention to what is most important at any given time.

Just a couple questions:

On a a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the highest, what grade would you give yourself in each of the areas listed here regarding your level of perseverance or dealing with the most important things at any given time?

Family__, Financial__, Career__, Social__, Intellectual__, Physical__, Spiritual__

If you see anything you don’t like what will you do to address that/those areas?

 

 

(By way of explanation, there are four recognized “major” tournaments contested annually across the world, (1) The Masters  in Athens , Georgia, (2) The U.S. Open, conducted on a rotation of different top quality U.S. golf courses, year to year, (3) The (British) Open, pride of the British Isles and uncontested home of the game of golf, hosted on a rotation of testy rugged courses across Great Britain, and (4) The PGA Championship, also played on a variety courses and course types across the U.S. on a year to year basis.)

*Merriam Webster Dictionary

 

The Bridge…par 4

The innocuous looking little bridge, pictured below is in fact one of the most famous bridges in the entire golfing world. It measures a whopping 30 feet in length is 8 feet wide and 6 feet in height.  Why is it so famous? Because it provides the only dry passage across the Swilken Burn—the brook, or some might call it a rivulet, that meanders across the 1st and 18th fairways of the Old Course of Saint Andrews Royal and Ancient Club, the undisputed home of present day Golf and it’s governing body.  Originally built over 700 years ago, it has served everyone from sheepherders to kings wishing to get across the burn.  There is only one way to achieve dry passage across the divide…the Bridge!

Extra Golf - Swilcan Bridge 3 a790fd3f-c597-4588-a944-47be367bb32f-2060x1373                         Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Since the founding of the Saint Andrews Royal and Ancient Club in 1754 the Swilken Bridge has been the only logical means of crossing the burn from tee to green for untold numbers of golfers.   In addition, as you can see above, the bridge has also become a podium for many world ranked Professional Golfers to bid their final adieu to the game they have loved so much.

Confession – this particular piece of sharing has been percolating in my soul for some time. The pull on my heart, the significance to me of the Swilken Bridge, and why I have always been so fascinated by it, did not begin to take form until recently when my wife, Suzanne, and I were having a discussion on a totally disassociated subject. During that discussion I made a comment which I thought was thoroughly logical and on point. Her response to my observation caught me by surprise and generated a bit of confusion.

She said “…You’ve got a gap in your bridge.” What she was saying is “…I heard your thought but the dots are not connecting yet. You need to provide me with more input if you expect me to embrace your thought as valid for me.”  In essence she was saying “…build me a better bridge.”

It was then that a new appreciation began to form about bridges in general and the Swilken Bridge in particular. There are many thousands and perhaps millions of bridges in existence across the world but this one simple bridge somehow stands out to me and then the pieces began to fall in place.

Two descriptors continue to stand out as I look at the Swilken Bridge, it’s simplicity, and it’s trustability. Aesthetics were not in the mix when the bridge was built. It had only one purpose…to help people get to the other side. Yet it is world famous. In addition, you can look at it and instantaneously intuit that it is, to this day, sturdy and can be trusted. The witness of it’s trustability lies in the fact that it is still standing and in regular use over 700 years after it was built.

Something else dawned on me as I looked at this little bridge. It has similar characteristics to a bridge that was built over 1300 years before—roughly 2,000 years ago. Similar to the Swilken Bridge it has been used throughout its history by everyone from shepherds to kings.  And, like the Swilken Bridge, it is the only means by which an individual can get from one side of the span it covers to the other. It is also considered by many to be the most beautiful bridge in existence. The guy who built the bridge was a carpenter, a stonemason really.

There are no ornate pillars adorning his bridge but there is an absolute solid framework supporting the bridge and as such it is totally trust worthy for those choosing to follow him across his bridge to where he eagerly awaits to welcome it’s travelers to the other side. It took him 33 years to build and cost him his life.  But as he said many times throughout his life, “it was a labor of love” even though many people hated him for it. He finished the task and in so doing became “The Greatest Bridge builder/Gap Filler” that has ever or will ever live. He built a bridge to fill the gap between this life, as we know it, to life everlasting with him.

I don’t believe I will ever be able to look at the Swilken bridge again without experiencing a gentle reminder of the man who built the bridge over which I will cross into eternity.

To quote a very dear friend of mine “…Thank you Jesus.”

P.S. A number of years ago, I was asked, during a seminar in which I was participating, by the seminar host… “How would you describe what you do?”  At the moment it felt to me like a “stump the stars” question.  Fortunately I was sitting several chars away from the moderator so my turn to talk would not come for few moments which gave me some time to legitimately consider his question.  My response was “…I help people build bridges to new understanding.”  That comment planted the seed for what would later became the name of our company…“Bridge Builders.”

The apostle Paul challenged us to look around and notice all of the indicators leading to our maker.  I hope that in some way this post will shine a light on the bridge Jesus built for us.  LG

 

Boat Anchors… Par 5

 


Significant time has passed, the dust has settled and the drama of the closing hours of the 2016 Masters Tournament, the first of the four “major” annual championships in professional golf is now resting quietly in the annals of golf history and lore.  But this picture of Jordan Spieth, taken while on his walk to participate in the traditional Green Jacket ceremony that weekend, still haunts me. It is the graphic depiction of a young man painfully lost in his negative thoughts.

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Jordan Spieth walks to the Green Jacket Ceremony during the final round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. (TODD BENNETT/STAFF)

 I honestly do not have the inside track on what Jordan was thinking at the time this photo was snapped. I do, however, have the context of the moment.

In the picture above young Spieth is definitely still in a state of shock over what had occurred over the last two hours prior to this photo being snapped. He had led the 2016 Masters Golf tournament from the first round and had built a five-shot lead going into the back and final nine on Sunday afternoon.  It appeared that he was on his way home to his second green jacket in two years—a feat less than a handful have accomplished—and a champions purse of $1,800,000.

Then the bottom fell out…

…In a matter of roughly two agonizing hours he lost five shots to par limping in to finish his tournament two under par. This, while his closest competitor, Danny Willett, entered the final nine two under par and went on to finish with three more birdies and a five under final score to win the tournament championship by three strokes.  These events would scramble anyone’s mind.

Many months have passed since the tournament in question and I am confident that Jordan is just fine (scarred but fine) and running on all cylinders.  So why would his picture “Haunt” me?

It haunts me because I see a piece of me, and perhaps you, in his countenance. His face emotes, in me, memories of events and periods of my life where I have let myself, and others, down.  It is a painful picture for me because, if I am not diligent in the practice of forgiving myself for things no longer in my control, I can easily take the predictable and worthless journey into self-doubt, self-deprecation and the dragging of debilitating multiple “Guilt Anchors”.

Is it important for me to pay attention to and learn from my sins/mistakes of the past? Absolutely!

But it is not good to perseverate on them to the point of debilitation. I would suggest there is a better way to deal with self imposed regret. I have chosen to adopt the following guidelines:

  • Ask…What have I learned?
  • Ask…What will I do differently next time?
  • Focus on what I want to do, not what I did.
  • Keep things in perspective
  • Remember my past is not my present or my future…

And…

I revisit the promise made to me, as a follower of Jesus Christ, that I am a treasured child of the most high God. And as such I have been forgiven my sins, past, present and future and look forward to moving into eternity with my Maker. I don’t have to pull a boat anchor of regret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caution – False Front … Par 4

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                                            Chicago Golf Club – (Photo:The Itinerant Golfer)

What in the world is a “false front”?

Golf Journalist Brent Kelley explains: “In golf, a “false front” is a front portion of a putting green that slopes down to the fairway, so that golf balls that hit that section of green won’t stay on the green. (They don’t stick! LG)

Who cares?

Kelley moves quickly to the “so what” explaining: “Hitting the front of the green with your approach shot, or with a pitch or even a chip, is rarely a bad thing. After all, a ball that hits the front of a typical green is likely to roll at least a little deeper into the green, getting closer to the hole position.

But when a green has a false front, that doesn’t happen. A false front, if it slopes enough, might even repel an approach shot. A golf ball that doesn’t land beyond the false front, or have enough juice to roll up it, will trundle back down into the fairway.

Yet, the false front of the green looks like any other front of a green in terms of turfgrass and maintenance: It’s mowed at putting green height, rolled and manicured just like the rest of the green. It is part of the green. It’s tidy and perfectly blends with the rest of the green.  Except that unlike a typical front section of a putting green, the false front won’t hold your ball on the green if you hit it. (It lets you down or deceives you.)

This brings into question, “what was the course architect thinking or trying to accomplish by including “false front” greens in their design?  The answer…”to protect par”—the heart of the golf course. To put the answer in colder language; the intent of the false front is to act as a facade to deceive the golfer into believing that the green in question is easier to navigate than it is in actuality.
It seems rather  “cheeky”—that a designer would intentionally try to deceive the participant—doesn’t it?  Well, yes…and no.

 

The course designer expects me to do my “due diligence” and check out the design prior to going out and competing.  That’s what “practice rounds” are for—Due Diligence or thorough preparation.  Due diligence is encouraged, to  help me become aware of exactly what the course has to offer in terms of difficulty and complexity and then apply my thinking and physical skills accordingly so that come match or tournament time, where there is a prize at stake, I am prepared to deal with the realities of the situation.

This concept of false fronts seems innocuous enough in a golf setting.  However, it becomes much more serious, or perhaps even insidious, when I take the concept of false fronts and move them into a life context. When I look into my mirror and ask myself some straightforward questions, what comes to light? Are people seeing the real me when they see me or are they seeing a facade or false front? Am I presenting the real me or is there a disparity between what people see and the me I know to be?

Do I hide behind position, power, money, fame, spirituality or any other buffer to keep people at bay from seeing or reaching the real me? When people do their due diligence and pull back the curtain on my life, will they find me or the Wizard of Oz?

At this point I have to be perfectly candid with you and admit there are some things I would rather you not know about me—for instance, my spotty (read rugged and questionable past). I have learned over the years to wear a false persona that does not expose that past. Sometimes, to this day, I want you to see the me I want to be instead of the me I am.

Here’s the deal.  I know that by accepting Christ as my redeemer I have been forgiven for my spotty past. I know that I am a treasured child of the most high God. The question is, now that I know I have been forgiven of my past failings, do I still have a sense that it is necessary to put up a false front, or am I living free in the man God created me to be, allowing you unashamed free access to the real me?

Candidly, it’s sometimes a challenge for me.  But with God’s help, I’m working on it.

How about you?  Do you have any false fronts you need to deal with?

He did what…? (19th Hole—Tap Room discussion)

I don’t know where you live or what your weather conditions are, but here in Chicago it’s almost golf season again and I can hardly wait.  The air is getting warmer, the grass greener and the days longer.  We’re two days shy of spring and the clubs, I swear, are screaming for fresh air and smooth as velvet fairway turf.  Can you tell I’m suffering from cabin fever?  Not for long!  Soon I’ll be getting in my first round of the new season with a good friend—one who will not laugh as I shake off the stiffness that the winter brings.  I envision we’ll get in a pleasant 18 and then head to the club taproom for some long over due “guy talk.”

2chi-adam-laroche-white-sox-photos-028

Because we live in the Chicago area I am sure the conversation will contain some portion of talk of what’s going on in spring training with our beloved White Sox and Cubs.  (Yes I took my life in my hands and mentioned both teams positively in the same sentence.) Well, you can’t talk about the Sox without giving a nod to what is going on with the Adam LaRoche situation. Those of you who follow Major League Baseball know that for the past few days there has been a firestorm of controversy brewing in the clubhouse of the Chicago White Sox.

There are many lenses through which one could view this chain of events. But, the one I find most poignant and powerful, at the moment, is that of LaRoche (Senior) who posted an explanation of his decision on twitter (Friday March 18, 2016).  Portions of his explanation are posted below:

“…Over the past five years with both the Nationals and the White Sox, I have been given the opportunity to have my son with me in the clubhouse.  It is a privilege I have greatly valued.  I have never taken it for granted, and feel an enormous amount of gratitude toward both of those organizations…

…Though I clearly indicated to both teams the importance of having my son with me, I also made clear that if there ever was a moment when a teammate, coach or manager was made to feel uncomfortable, then I would immediately address it.  I realize that this is their office, and their career, and it would not be fair to the team if anybody in the clubhouse was unhappy with the situation. Fortunately that problem never developed…

…Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son’s ability to be a part of the team.  After some due diligence on the club’s part we reached an agreement.  The 2015 season presented no problems as far as Drake was concerned.  (My bat and our record are another story!)…

…with all of this in mind, we move toward the current situation which arose after White Sox VP Ken Williams recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse.  Later I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all. Obviously I expressed my displeasure to this decision to alter the agreement we had reached before I signed with the White Sox.  I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or, do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf…

…My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams…

…I understand that many people will not understand my decision. I respect that, and all I ask is for the same level of respect in return.  I live by a certain set of values that are rooted in my faith, and I am grateful to my parents for that.  I have tried to set a good example on and off the field and live a life that represents these values.  As fathers we have the opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can’t be shaken by the world around them.  Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around…

…Baseball has taught me countless life lessons.  I’ve learned how to face challenges, how to overcome failure, how to maintain humility, and most importantly, to trust that the lord is in control and that I was put here to do more than play the game of baseball. We are called to live life with an unwavering love for God and for each other.  These are lessons I try to teach my kids every day…

…Thank you to all of my previous managers, past teammates and friends across the league for making these past 12 years such a wonderful journey,  and providing me with memories I will never forget–especially the ones with my son by my side…

…I will leave you with the same advice I left my teammates.  In life we are all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make.  Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.

Adam”

I so respect the choice that  Mr. LaRoche  made.  He stands tall in my book. He had the courage and conviction to put his conscience over his checkbook—$13,000,000 plus the earnings potential in future years. I am confident that on into eternity he will not regret that decision nor will his kids.

We are all challenged to respond to the same question.  Who/what will be the primary adviser in my life decisions—what will be the voice I listen to? Will it be:

  • my convenience?
  • my comfort?
  • my checkbook?
  • my pleasure?
  • my politics?
  • my friends?
  • my lifestyle?

Or

  • My Maker

Thanks Adam for being a great model to follow.

 

PAIN…Par 4

Pain is not a small issue in golf.  To list just a few, pain can interrupt tournaments, ruin careers, cost players millions of dollars not to mention their sponsors and friends who support them.  You name it, if there is a discussion around the subject of golf we can work the idea of pain into that discussion.

Mickelson18-847

Phil Mickelson reacts after missing a 5-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole that would have given him a spot in a playoff. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

But…today I don’t want to talk about any of them.  I simply was going through a painful time of soul searching as to how to share my thoughts today which have absolutely nothing to do with golf but a great deal to do with pain, life and death.  (Sorry I couldn’t think of a less painful segue into my thoughts. I know that wasn’t fair. Please, please forgive me.)

But now, on to the idea at hand…

During my quiet time this morning I was the recipient of a vision, a revelation or perhaps one could say an “epiphany.” In order to share effectively with you I must first provide some background from which comes this “epiphany.”

My body, at the moment, is in the “hurt locker.” This is due in large part to my entrusting myself to the recommendations of my doctor. He, a specialist in“upper cervical care”, observed that my skeletal framework is significantly out of alignment at its most crucial intersection—my neck.
I was advised that the “initial” adjustment (remedy) would take only a short period of time, however, that would be just the beginning of the story. He went on to say, it will take significantly longer for the amazing healing powers God has incorporated into our bodies to generate just the right “cradle” that would hold the skeletal structure of my neck in alignment.

He advised me that during this recovery period, some of the discomfort will cease immediately but cautioned that I must persevere with the process because the healing properties of the body work on Gods time not ours. — We don’t want to try “push the river, we want to “let it flow.”*,
He went on to explain that “the pain which sent you to see me is very similar to the pain associated with the recovery process only in reverse order, so I don’t want you to expect it to subside immediately.”

In essence what he was saying is don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel the pain go away immediately, the system is now working in reverse, you are backing out of the discomfort—i.e. the onset of pain  which prompted you to visit – 1st  tingling, 2nd aching, and finally throbbing—In relief – 1st the throbbing will cease, 2nd the aching, and last the tingling.

Now to the “Epiphany”…

As I sat pondering my treatment and the events of the past few days the revelation struck me as to how similar this healing process is to the one that has played out in my spiritual life as well.

Jesus—My spiritual doctor—performed the spiritual adjustment of my soul necessary to bring me into alignment with the desires of Our Father (God) and then God sent the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me as the Trinity continues to provide new material to help bolster the cradle necessary to keep my soul in alignment with The Father continuously— on into eternity with Him

I am so thankful that my eternal destiny is secure, the fix is in, the adjustment has been made. I have been adopted into God’s kingdom, I am a child of God!

I am also very thankful for the pain that comes along to remind me when I begin to stray off course and to feel that pain subside as I respond to the “tugs” of the Holy Spirit to adjust or alter course back towards the center of Gods will for my life. What a gift to feel the pain subside. One can almost sense a big neon sign flashing “HEALING IN PROGRESS.’

As a coping mechanism, I am adopting the posture that I am in the “Hurt Locker” because “healing is in progress” and, to me, the pain is well worth the long term/eternal gain.

* Confucius

Who’s helping you read your greens? …Par 5

Recently, while checking in to see how the 2016 Sony Hawaiian Open was progressing, I happened across the photo below:

Jan 15, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker hits his approach shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 15, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker hits his approach shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The caption clearly indicates what is transpiring at the moment. But my interest in the game and my hunger for more detail keyed a whole group of questions the photo could not answer. I wanted to know what kind of lie Snedeker was hitting from and what club he had selected?  Did his shot come to rest in the cup, on the green or somewhere else?  If on the green, what kind of putt did he leave himself. I wanted to know what kind of input he had gotten from his caddie… or… was he even considering his caddie’s counsel? And by the way, “who is his caddie in the picture? I don’t recognize him.”

At this point you might be asking…”who in their right mind gives a rats tail about who Snedeker’s caddie is?  Answer…It doesn’t make a huge difference to me who the caddie might be but I would be willing to bet the ranch that it makes a big difference to Brandt Snedeker.

His first place finish would net him a winners check with six zero’s in it to the left of the decimal point—that’s at least a million dollars in case you are running out of fingers—and, come to find out, he was playing with a “substitute” caddie, Steve Underwood.  His regular caddie, Scott Vail, was off  the tour, recuperating from debilitating foot surgery.

Win a million dollars?

That brings to mind another question.  How do you find a caddie in whom you are willing to invest a million dollars of faith and trust—on short notice? That’s got to be a fairly short list to choose from.   My guess is you would start looking around for the best in the business that’s available at the moment.  Then, for starters, that guy or gal would have to have more than a modicum of experience in your arena. They would have to have a demonstrable proficiency at reading the wind, weather, sun angle, sight lines, grass/green composition, topography and geography.

In addition, whoever is going to ” tote the bag” would need to come with a proven record of dependability. That is to say the desirable candidate would be someone for whom you do not have to set an alarm, is punctual, if not early, will be appropriately prepared with proper equipment in tow (a maximum of 14 clubs, and don’t forget the PB&J’s and granola bars, umbrella, rain gear, and oh yes..plenty of  towels, golf gloves and balls ). You would want to know if they have a track record of doing “the whole job” including  scoping out the course, knowing the current pin placements as well as the best “leave” for each shot and always having the distances readily available.

Most importantly, you would want a sense that they would know how to read you, when to talk and when to remain silent, when to encourage and when to provide constructive input. 

When you think about it, that’s a tall order for anybody to fill. It’s a big and demanding job, but then again the reward is substantial if the efforts yield a victory for you and your Caddie.

I would be hard pressed to make a hasty decision on the subject. Remember the challenge is to get the best help you can find.  On the PGA Tour you must have a caddie. How you put that caddie to work is up to you—you’re the boss. Your can use them simply as your “beast of burden” to slog along beside you, clean your clubs and carry your bag…or… you can employ them to not only do the “heavy lifting” but embrace them in a team relationship, as your key adviser and confidant, involved in every playing decision you make as you take on the course for your mutual enrichment—win the prize, share the bounty.

It’s your life, your game, your choice.

Now shift gears with me for a moment to the big picture of life.  Isn’t the same set of assistance criteria available to you and me?

Jesus said very clearly to us who have accepted Him as our Savior,  that when He went to be with His Father in Heaven he would send “the Comforter”—the Holy Spirit—to assist and guide us on our journey heavenward. We have a choice as to how we interact with our guide. We can treat him as a necessary tag along, there to do the heavy lifting but seldom tapping into the unbridled wealth of wisdom and help the Comforter brings to the table…or…we can take full advantage of this special relationship and keep him as our closest confidant, involved in every aspect of our lives on a day to day basis.

Just one last Question:

Is the The Comforter (The Holy Spirit) a “wasting asset”… or… a fully embraced confidant and highly valued  adviser in your life?