“Close only counts in horseshoes.” Sadly I must admit that sometimes describes my faith. It counts – but often only because I’m close and not dead on.
My Grandpa taught me how to pitch shoes. Well, maybe I should qualify that with him trying to teach me. He was good – really good! Anything I learned came more from watching him, than what he said. His grip, his focus, the smoothness of his swing and the confidence in his stride were all factors that made him consistent. Consistency made him good.
Consistency – that’s a problem when it comes to me playing horseshoes (or about any other sport). I’ve been known to yell “duck!” on some of my pitches. I’ve also needed to run myself, as the shoe went straight up and gravity brought it straight back down towards my head! Sometimes they just seem to have a mind of their own and for reasons unknown, go way off course – just like me.
A lot of people have tried to teach me faith. They’ve taught me a lot about it, mostly by my watching them walk the talk. Their faith seems to stand the test, no matter what. That’s the kind of faith that I want; that I strive for – a consistent walk of faith in knowing that because Jesus is with me, “what can mortal man do to me?”. Sadly, sometimes mortal man’s efforts team up with a little help from our spiritual enemy and that can leave a few bruises and open some real wounds. I guarantee that Satan never yells “Duck!”. If trouble’s headed your way, he’s hoping for a ringer!
Consistency in faith is an area in which I struggle. I know all about the focus and keeping a firm grip on the Truth. Letting go of all other things seems to be my weakest area. Sometimes, they’re distractions which draw my attention from God. Other times, they pop up in front of me, blocking my view of God because I forget to look up. If I did, I would see Him above all else.
Consistency is what I strive for, daily. My favorite attribute of God is the one He revealed through His Personal Name to Moses; “I AM What I AM”. His very Name speaks of and promises consistency. He’s unchanging. That makes Him trustworthy in and through all things. That makes me desire to place my faith and trust in Him and keep it there – consistently.
Just like a good game of horseshoes feels satisfying, so does a good walk of faith. I find yourself striving to do my best, to be consistent. Close isn’t good enough. Leaners? Oh, yeah! I lean on His strength daily – it’s the only thing that keeps me going. But, Ringers – that’s what I strive for. To know that He guided me into hitting the mark, by showing me the perfect example through Jesus. It doesn’t happen every time. But, through constant practice, my walk is becoming more consistent. And I believe that when I do hit a ringer, I hear my LORD rejoicing along with me.