My youngest brother, Brett, played golf occasionally.
One day he played golf with a friend. The friend took out three clubs, stepped up on the tee box, tossed a few blades of grass into the air, chose a club and hit an ideal shot!
Brett thought his friend occasionally played golf like he did, but obviously he played at another level! What Brett eventually found out was that his friend had played some college golf.
This is what struck my brother, in college his friend hit 1,000 golf balls every day!
In order to play at a level above others, an agonizing commitment to have the ideal swing must be pursued!
Paul said to young Timothy:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
The word “fight” is the source of our English word “agonize.” Timothy is urged to agonize (fight, contend) for the ideal agony (fight, contest).
The young man later admitted to Brett that hitting 1,000 golf balls every day proved agonizing.
We are to agonize to live ideally for that which is worth agonizing. The word “good” could translate as “ideal.” We cannot live a perfect life but we are to strive toward an idea!
Brett found out that the young man “burned-out.” Hitting 1,000 golf balls daily became so tedious he dropped out of competitive golf.
The goal must be worth the agony to achieve it. Golf did not meet that level of worthiness.
What goal did Paul challenge Timothy to reach? “Take hold” of the eternal life you are assured of in the gospel!
Paul did not tell Timothy to “take hold” of eternal life because he could lose it, but so he would be willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill his calling of telling others.
I like to play golf, but I think I would burn-out too if I had to hit 1,000 balls a day.
Here’s our challenge: How about 1,000 acts of obedience to the Spirit each day? Is the goal of taking others to heaven with us worth it?
Our Father, the goal of eternal life is worth whatever it takes so others can know it too. Empower us to be sensitive and obedient to your Spirit today.