"You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35 (NIV)
A few weeks ago I played a round of disc golf with my good friend Russell Martin. After we finished the last hole, we decided to go to an open field and just throw some drives to each other. We're both average players, so we throw between 220ft-280ft on most throws...once in a while we'll throw a 300 footer or a 150 footer. So, we stood about 200-240ft away from each other and took turns throwing discs back and forth...you get more throwing by doing this because you chase your friend's throw 50ft rather than chasing your own 250ft!
I noticed something during that time- Russell was standing at a distance that was slightly less than the shortest holes on the course; so I relaxed and just tried to play catch...one problem, I kept overthrowing him! And I was throwing low and flat (this helps to get maximum distance by not wasting energy working against gravity or turning in the wrong direction). We talked about it a little while afterward and agreed that we felt like we threw better because we weren't trying to throw 300ft on every drive...we kept our mechanics in check and made smooth motions through each drive. We let the disc do the work instead of trying too hard.
In Part 1, I wrote about making an effort to connect to God in order to grow and see results. But sometimes we can try to force growth to happen, or think that what we do is the only thing that causes growth. We must understand that growth happens for us spiritually when we are working with God- just like great drives occur when I'm working with the disc, rather than trynig to muscle it as far as I can..the disc wants to glide, but when you throw too hard it becomes too much like a projectile and cannot glide.
How do you react when you're not seeing results in your spiritual growth? Do you try harder? Do you try to force progress? Maybe next time you should relax and let God take on a share of the work...remember, it's a relationship-there's more to the equation than just you!