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GUEST COLUMNIST: God calls beyond the comfort

Deck Cheatham

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

Thornton Wilder would be proud. This place is an “Our Town” sort of experience, salubrious in character. It’s a restaurant I patronize where people come and go and the conversation lingers like the town folk who claim the place as their own. It’s a gathering spot with blue chairs at the crossroads of yesterday and tomorrow.

All the puzzle pieces exist within its walls. There is the adult table where adult conversations take place over town events, political affairs and imagined Utopian visions.

There is the menu aspiring to a higher calling but always short an item or two because demand outpaces supply here. It is a good problem.

The coffee is good. The Coca-Cola has real sugar. The decor is as colorful as the patrons, pleasing to the eye, mixed with today and yesterday texture while the floor leans like the conversations. It is a good place to pass time or watch it stand still. This place is a people-watchers dream, a spot to imbibe man’s nature at nature’s best, to reflect on what is good and to work out our own imperfection as we see it, a real local politic in action.

The political man lives in me. He lives in us all. He lives at the crossroad where blue chairs provide space for our voices and conversations. Our nature leans … well, inclines … toward our nature. We seem to want to be our self, and as we do, God mysteriously calls us to a better, deeper, more honest self.

There are Christians who walk around as though a life in Christ is blind happiness. Denial knows no higher form.

As a Christian, I cannot deny the joy I have in Christ, the assurance of salvation, the hope where I find rest. Neither can I deny my weakness, my inability to work out my own perfection. This is my faith reality, the hard truth keeping me on my knees seeking God’s guidance and submitting to him daily.

This reality is sobering. It widens my eyes and heightens my mind, cajoling me to see as God sees.

Without God, we see our imperfection and strive toward a vain purpose only to give way to cynicism. With God, we see our imperfection, cease our striving and begin strangely to love as God loves, forgive as God forgives, and in blindness, trust God is there.

Faith is the bridge between reality and eternity. Without touching us, time embraces us while imposing its force. God embraces us, touches us, calls to our better, deeper self and guides us to love.

This is God, leaning toward us.

“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