Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns.”
Revelation 19:6 (NIV)
With the one-hundred and forty-third British Open Golf Championship (The Open) about to tee off this week at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, it brings to mind an extraordinary moment borne out of the play in the 2009 British Open at the Turnberry Golf Club in Scotland.
To the casual observer it was just another golf tournament. But it was really so much more. It was an unbelievable moment in golfing lore, which served to point us outside of ourselves, remind us of things we yet want to do, and expand our vision of our lives beyond the obstacles into all the possibilities which remain.
I imagine that tears formed in eyes and throats, and palms gathered sweat, as pulses around the golf-viewing world quickened, watching Tom Watson walk up the eighteenth fairway of the Turnberry golf course during the last round of that year’s Open Championship. He needed a par to complete his attempt to win The British Open Championship and become the oldest man—by a long-shot—at two months shy of his sixtieth birthday to win one of golf’s four major tournaments. Announcers who have known and respected him for years, couldn’t string words together into intelligible sentences to describe the moment or how they were feeling as they watched what unfolded that Sunday afternoon.
The words “God Almighty” in the verse from Revelation above are translated from the Greek word “pantokrator” which literally means the “One Who controls all things.” The word is used ten times in the New Testament—once in 2 Corinthians quoting from the Old Testament and nine times by John in his inspired writing of Revelation.
The interesting thing about John’s reminder that God controls all things is that at the time he wrote the book of Revelation, in approximately 90 A.D., the Christian church faced more suffering, persecution or the prospects of death for their beliefs than at any before. Yet in the face of those difficult times, John kept writing to remind us that God Almighty—“pantokrator”, the One Who controls all things—was still in control and still reigns.
Maybe that final round of the 2009 Open was a reminder to those of us a couple of years older than the man who nearly won The Open Championship that year, that whatever your age—it’s only a number. Maybe it reminded a lot of us of all the faces of folks we have seen throughout the years who had stopped living. They were done. Retired from work. Retired from trying. Retired from life. Retired from having an impact and making a difference. The legacy they were designed to leave every day of their lives had “flat-lined.”
But watching Tom Watson that Sunday a few years ago, there were many who had to take a new look at their lives—and realize they still had moments left to live.
So, how about today, a few years later. What are you going through today? Retired? Just graduated from school with no prospects for employment? Lost your job or have had an unexpected career stumble? Finances short and looking shorter a little farther down the fairway? Just reached another “number” on the calendar and others are suggesting that you’re old. Or maybe you’re thinking it’s time to stop, to retire, and leave tomorrow to the next generation?
But then we remember that day of the 2009 Open. Then we remember a man by the name of Tom Watson. And simply another of those reminders from the God Who controls all things—that no matter where you are in life—your life is not over. It was a reminder of the long view of life we need to continually reach for and embrace. The one that recognizes that the Lord God Almighty still reigns and holds every number of our lives in His hands—from the moment of our creation, to today, into tomorrow, and all the way to infinity and throughout eternity.
The God Who created you and me still reigns and still calls us to tee it up one more time. And then again and again. He’s in control, and as long as there is a breath left in our body—in His view—we’re not done. He calls us to so much more—to reach, to serve, to touch, to make a difference, to try, to continue to have an impact, and to add to the legacy of our lives—by adding value to the lives all around us up until the very last moment with the very last breath.
Tired? Okay, rest for a moment. Take a deep breath, then get on with life!
Fallen? Take a moment to regroup and pick yourself up. Then get on with life!
Hurt by someone? Forgive them. Then get on with life!
Disappointment, heartache? Remember you’re not alone, lean on Him and others who love you. Then get on with life!
Maybe it seems that there’s not much time left here on earth. Embrace what is left, and make a difference with each second, minute and hour that’s left.
A few more aches than yesterday? Well there will probably be a few more than that even tomorrow. They’re simply there to remind us that there’s still breath in our bodies, and there are still things to do. So get on with life!
Today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life—tee it up—again and again and again, in all the moments that are left!
The Lord God Almighty reigns and requires no less from each of us, now, tomorrow and throughout eternity!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.