Deck Cheatham

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton.

“Hey, Little Bit!”

Grandnan’s embroidery hands remain unpracticed. But, sitting under light tilted toward her work, she plied each stitch for you with a steady, singular, focused, intentional hand to finish the task. No other effort satisfied and no desire for perfection sufficed, only love. Completed, your christening gown displays three sets of initials dating three baptisms, reminders marked, but not captured in time. The last is yours.

Solomon reminds me, “To everything there is a season…a time to be born and a time to die.” And life’s seasons in between, demanding their own attention and passing as they must, do not diminish the season claiming you now. There is never a time you will not stand before God, never an irrelevant time for God to claim you or for you to clench His gift of grace and repentance.

No one can outrun eternity. Never a sentimental memory, never simply a good feeling, never a changing season, baptism conveys this truth. God claims us in and for eternity, not for a season. Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Only the eternal is always appropriate and always present, is always true. Only the eternal applies to each human being, whatever his age may be.”

My own journey rested in this truth. When God’s transcending and transforming light awakened me, I realized I was living in eternity now. No longer must I live for this world and its present demands and seduc-tions. My perspective widened. The purpose of the Cross and my own baptism became clear. If God clutched me through these two eternal moments, I could not shelter myself in life’s seasons. My clarity focused on the preacher telling me baptism was about what God had done for me, not what I had done for God.

Living became not for a season, but for God’s eternal purpose and will, to express light and truth beyond the immediate. Carlo Caretto expressed this sentiment, “I felt the Gospel to be eternal; I felt politics and culture, including Christian culture, to be in time. I was made always to go beyond time.” One could add philosophy, psychology, sentimentality and tradition.

The sense to go somewhere, to be somewhere has followed me all my life. Each had its season and place. Life offered ample diversions and means to hide. How many roads did I exhaust before I finally lived what the preacher said? But, I ended where God wished me to be, where I always was, standing before Him, alone, just me with nowhere to go but to my knees. This is where my baptism meant me to be, still, in the steadfast presence of God. Long was the road leading me to His eternal presence He placed within. I pray your road will not tarry.

March forth, “Little Bit.”

August Ann Oberle was baptized Sunday, November 25, 2018, eternity stitched in her heart. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com