I hate golf. I’ve always hated golf. In my early teens, my father strove many an hour one weekend to try and teach me the intricate mechanics of guiding a golf ball through the air to some target hundreds of feet away. In the end, he realized that I really didn’t care too much for golf, and trotted off in a huff.

Often, though, I would caddy for my father on a golf course while he and his friends would while away many an hour trying to underscore each other. To a young teen, the passing time was an interminable hell. Even now, I cannot pass a golf course without wondering how those people, often in the twilight of their lives, can spend so much time playing golf.

During my college years, I would pass by a certain golf course every day on my way from work to school. I’d like to be able to say without doubt that I saw the same people there day after day, but I can’t. And yet, somehow I know they were there – working on their drives and putts, experimenting with different angles in sand traps, and crossing their fingers when the ball lands just a little too close to that pond.

Although I may wonder at the lengths of time spent on the course, I can finally say that I understand. These golfing “regulars” are determined. They want to succeed – to beat the course laid out ahead, to come out on top.

We, as Christians, could learn a valuable lesson from golfers.

How many of us are determined? We want to beat the course and enter those pearly gates. We want so badly to come out on top and have Jesus say, “enter in thou good and faithful servant.” But how many of us are determined enough to sacrifice the time and energy to reach the goal? Golfers sacrifice hours to golf during their day, but how many hours do we, as Christians, sacrifice to God?

Just as the key to a good golf game is daily practice and sacrifice of time, the key to a good relationship with Jesus is daily worship and sacrifice of time to prayer. You don’t have to spend hours, but give Him a little of your time every morning – you’d be surprised how you fare your course throughout the day!