Deck Cheatham

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

No story. No memory. No watermelons or tomatoes. No metaphors treading in spiritual time. Today, I want to remind myself and readers of a singular gospel truth. I want to allow God’s power and provision to rest in my soul and give me peace. I want you to allow and remember it, too.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness,’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12: 9, NKJV). Brothers and sister in Christ, let this sink in.

Sufficiency is a constant awareness, a spiritual freedom informing us we live for Christ, by Christ, in Christ and this earthly home is not our home at all. Life imparts enough travails and withholds sufficient pleasantries to convince us this is true. Spiritual freedom arrives at our doorstep because those pains and joys sift through our experience. And how else can we know this but through life’s most difficult moments woven between the sun flecked freedoms to which we aspire?

But earthly freedom, clothed in concept freedom, common good societal freedom is not the unencumbered goal toward which Christians dream or should, though we cherish it. This earthly arena requires sacrifice and compromise, a common ground not so common anymore.

And then, too, I often think I am most free when I am alone, but the thought is fleeting because my mind soon yields to the reality my possessions and responsibilities imprison me, the thought of losing their offered benefit reduce me. Here, God finds fertile soil in my weakness.

This freedom is a contradictory term. It implies a brand of unrestrained permission, an impulse, a detachment. But in as much as it is true that freedom is accompanied by responsibility, responsibility implies we are not free at all. Conscious and subconscious consequences constrain our thinking and decisions. This consideration is replete with past learning and experience, social norms and mores, benefits and deterrents, our moral compass about right and wrong. Freedom is a ledger weighed.

Unclothed freedom is found in friendship. In such a bond, either person may at one time or another allow a complete honesty grounded by a trust neither shall betray. And if we should betray this trust by circumstance or failing, confession and forgiveness return us toward that savored bond. Friendship is tangible ground, a haven where grace reveals its sufficiency.

This sufficiency, this grace, this freedom means a bit of undoing, not in the typical sense all is falling apart, but in the sense we reverse direction and turn our intent toward God’s promise. Grasping grace, grasping its bounty, accepting its intimacy during life’s illusions, encumbrances and enticements is all that is needed.

Intimate grace is a glimpse of home, God’s home.

Let this sink in.

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

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