Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
A few miles from my house they built a new golf course. Not just any golf course. A golf course design by Jack Nichlaus, one of the greatest golfers ever. It is not an easy course. It was design so that the even the best would have a hard time staying out of the water and avoid the sand. It is a signature course.
I, however, will have no trouble avoiding the sand and surf of Harbor Shores. I am committed to avoiding the course! You see, I have trouble negotiating the miniature windmill on course B at the local Putt-Putt with my pink golf ball. I have no interest in playing a course that Jack signed his name to.
God has a signature course designed specifically for you. It is different than the one he has designed for me. It is “set before us.” At times God sets a Putt-Putt course before you. At other times God pairs you up with Jack facing challenges you would rather avoid.
Like me, you may have no interested in playing a course God has designed with the hazards of job loss, health concerns, or difficult relationships. But no matter how hard the course God has set before you, keep moving forward. Stop wondering if you are on the right course. Stop asking for mulligans. Stop wishing God would set you on an easier course like the one he assigned to you neighbor. God uses the difficulty to strengthen your faith and prepare you for what’s ahead.
If you aren’t facing any challenges or trials on your course you may need to ask God if you are on the course he designed for you. Quit patting yourself on the back for your victories on the course that your 10-year-old makes hole-in-ones on. Join the rest of us who are negotiating the hard stuff. Take a risk. Try something challenging for God.
Remember Jesus had a course set before him too. It was infinitely harder than the one set before you. How did he finish his course? He kept his eyes on the joy that was set before him. We all have a different course but we all have the same motivation to finish; the joy of looking to Jesus standing at the final hole ready to receive you as one of His own.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Today are playing is His signature course.