Watch your footing

If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

hikingIn the book, The 19th Hole, author Carol Mann recounts how golf legend Arnold Palmer will never forget the day he lost his footing.

It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament. Palmer had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a satisfying tee shot. As he approached the ball, he saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned Palmer over, stuck out his hand and congratulated him for the win he was about to secure.

Palmer later said that as soon as he shook his friend’s hand, he knew he was in trouble. After that congratulatory handshake, he lost his mental footing. He hit his ball into a sand trap. Then he put it over the edge of the green. Then he missed a putt. He lost the Masters.

For us as Christians, the temptation can be strong for us to assume that we can coast through our Christianity: We know the Bible stories. We attend church more often than not. We’re on friendly terms with the pastor. After a while our idea of Christianity can begin to resemble our life insurance policy. It’s nice to know it’s in our filing cabinet if we need it; otherwise we don’t give it much thought.

And that’s when we can lose our footing.

Christianity is not some cultural formality through which we coast. Nor is it some life insurance document we store away for emergencies. Christianity is about our relationship with the One who has rescued us from the guilt of our sin.

Lost your footing? Come to Jesus. Repent. Be renewed in his forgiveness. And remember that your intense need for him never ends. Never!

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I have forgotten how I need you every moment of my life. Empower me to stand in you alone. Amen.

Published by Living Hope Church

Living Hope is a WELS Lutheran Church located in Omaha, NE.