Korky Kemp serves as the Eastern Director for College Golf Fellowship, a national ministry with nine full time staff based around the country. Having played golf at NC State, then professionally for seven years on various tours, he started working with CGF in 2005. Through outreach banquets, team and tournament visits, weekly Bible studies, individual discipleship and retreats with PGA Tour players, the staff of CGF strive to impact the world of college golf and beyond with the life changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This blog post was adapted from Korky’s Links Player devotional on Isaiah 43 and lessons shared by Paul Stankowski.
“…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:7
Golden Nuggets of Wisdom
Have you ever been sitting with someone “a little further down the road” than you and realized that what was being spoken was absolutely profound? Potentially this was someone in your line of work who has years of experience and mentors you. Or maybe you see yourself doing this with a younger co-worker or even your children. I think of Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book as containing many golden nuggets for the game of golf.
I’m reminded of a Web.Com event in Raleigh, NC. Paul Stankowski (aka Stanko), then a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, offered up some golden nuggets to some local collegiate players over a meal at a local restaurant. Stanko revealed his thoughts about his quick rise to the brink of greatness in the mid to late 90’s, then pointed out a moment where he made a prideful statement.
After referencing his statement, he detailed how his golf career slowly started to decline and how his health issues led to several surgeries from 2003-2008. Paul shared golden nuggets regarding chasing your dreams with passion, working your tail off, and bluntly he told the young golfers:
“If you’re not good enough, go get a job.”
The underlying theme of the old pro’s words revealed a heart committed to God. Stanko proclaimed over and over that whatever happens is “for my good and God’s glory.” He said,:
“If I win a golf tournament, that is for my good and God’s glory. If I miss the cut, that is for my good and God’s glory. Whatever happens, good or bad, is for my good and God’s glory.”
Golden nuggets. The verse above, Isaiah 43:7, speaks of God calling us and creating us for his glory. I thank the Lord that he made faithful men like Paul Stankowski to be a living testimony of God’s faithfulness in good times and in bad. In honesty, Paul revealed how he did not desire to be at the dinner that night. He wanted to stay in his hotel room and get room service because he was tired. His bride told him to go and encourage those college guys. He went.
A graying beard, a leathery face from years in the sun, stories of both greatness and despair… “For my good and for God’s glory.” Golden nuggets. Lord, please help us to embrace this perspective, “For my good and for God’s glory,” with all the ups and downs that life brings.
May Jesus Christ be our rock through this roller coaster called life. Amen.
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