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July 23, 2018

An Ocean of Hope

Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4: 8-9 (NLT)

I wonder what Francesco Molinari was thinking yesterday during the course of his final round over the links in Carnoustie, Scotland which secured his title as “Champion Golfer of the Year” in the 2018 (British) Open Golf Championship.

I suspect it wasn’t thoughts of disaster or demise as he began his round three strokes off the lead. If thoughts such as that began to creep into the perspective of his next shot, or his approach to the next hole, I suspect he or his caddy would have quickly replaced them with positive, can-do thoughts.

Here we are beginning another week, in the midst of yet another round of life. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment—what is your vision and perspective of the week before you? Honestly.

The weekend is over and many of us are back at it and into the usual grind of each day of the week. The break is over and whatever rest we were supposed to get to rejuvenate us—well, we could probably use just a bit more.

It’s a new day, and a new week and yet we seem to have enough stuff before us to climb over this week to keep us on the flipside of joy for most of the week. Deadlines loom before us. The sky seems a bit cloudy. The economy is better—for others.

And it’s probably going to start raining, too. Somewhere.

But take a look at Paul’s perspective and his approach to the day.

I don’t know what day of the week it was when Paul penned those words above. But we know that he was under house arrest and chained all-day-long to a Roman guard. Really. Yet his approach toward life was always the same, no matter what he faced. While others were circling in their pity parties with all the troubles of the day—maybe even something we do at times—Paul pointed to a better perspective when he encourages us to—

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

But even in the final round of The Open? Or even on Mondays? Or Tuesdays, even Wednesdays, or Saturdays? You know with Paul’s approach, we may be surprised at how our perspective toward every brand new day changes. We may be surprised by the new perspective that we have toward what we face in our days and weeks—now focused on things that are true, right, lovely, pure and excellent.

There’s a story of a ship that had sailed from the Orient, on a long voyage around South America, in an area that was new and unfamiliar to the Captain and crew. As a result, they had misjudged their needed water supply, and so somewhere off the coast of South America they ran out of fresh water to drink.

So when a passing ship was spotted, the Captain of the distressed vessel had the signalman signal to the ship: “Can you share your water?” And the response came back: “Dip where you are.” The distressed Captain became irritated and repeated his request, but again the response came back—“Dip where you are.”

So a bucket and rope were rigged together, and the Captain had the crew lower it into the salty ocean. When they lifted up the bucket of water, and the Captain put his finger into it, touched his finger to his tongue, to his amazement he found that the water was sweet, fresh water. What he hadn’t known was that they were in the center of a mile-wide current where the Amazon River was still making its surging rush into the sea.

It’s Monday, and tomorrow will be Tuesday, and then—well it really doesn’t matter what day it is. What matters is that it is a day where we can find hope for living and facing whatever we are going thorough—right where we are. Just like that day became for that crew, in that moment of unexpected hope found in the middle of a salt-filled ocean. The hope that God is always providing you and me. Reminding us that no matter what we face we should always—

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

What are you facing today? Maybe you’re even three strokes back as you try to figure out your next shot, your next step.

So what will your perspective be for today? What will be your perspective for all the other days ahead? What’s your perspective toward the rest of your life?

What is your perspective as you tee off on the final round, or any round, of whatever adventure, path or challenge that is before you? Why not fix your mind on what Paul says to fix your mind upon, and upon the hope of life-giving fresh water that is always bubbling within, around and under you—in the person of Christ the Lord—to get you through whatever you face.

He will never fail you—all the way down the middle of every fairway you face.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2018. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Scott Whitaker at 6:00 am
Filed under: Thoughts

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