Daily Devotions

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Dare 2B Daring – August 02, 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

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A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.

(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)

“What did the last five years teach me? When something really bad or life-altering happens, you want to acknowledge that it has affected you. You don’t want to shy away from it or pretend like it never happened. You want to realize the great impact it has had on you, but at the same time, even if it’s massive, you don’t want to have it consume you so you become jaded or apathetic or negative, and you don’t like the person you become. Walking the fine line of having something bad happen to you, taking your time to mourn and letting it affect you without letting it beat you down so hard that it takes you away from what you want to accomplish is very difficult. Accepting it and realizing it happened and dealing with it as best you can – that’s kind of the art of life.” – Patrick Cantlay

For 54 consecutive weeks in 2011-2012, Patrick Cantlay was the top-ranked amateur golfer in the world. He was the low amateur at both the U.S. Open and the Masters, and won a slew of collegiate awards including the prestigious Fred Haskins Award, the Ben Hogan Award, the Mark McCormack Medal and the Jack Nicklaus Award, all by the end of his sophomore year at UCLA.

Turning pro that June, Cantlay won the second tournament he entered, the Columbia Championship on the Web.com Tour. It looked like the sky was the limit for Patrick… until that is, he felt a sharp pain in his back, so severe that he later compared it to being stabbed with a knife. What followed was four years of intense rehab, including long periods when his doctors wouldn’t allow him to do anything but rest. He was eventually diagnosed with a stress fracture in his L5 vertebrae.

During those “lost years” of 2014, 2015, and 2016, one friend kept Cantlay from giving up. His best friend and caddie, Chris Roth, had been by Patrick’s side since high school, where they played on the golf team together. But in February 2016, Chris was struck and killed by a hit and run driver – right in front of Cantlay’s eyes.

One year later, Cantlay made the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and earned fully exempt status on a medical extension in just his second event back on tour, finishing runner-up at the Valspar Championship. He even qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship, the first golfer to do so in 12 or fewer events since Tiger Woods. Cantlay’s amazing comeback came full circle when he won the Shriner Hospitals for Children Open last fall in a playoff.

I don’t know if Patrick is a Christian or not. The article made no reference to his faith, so I assume he is not a believer. That being said, he deserves all the credit in the world for not throwing in the towel. More than that, his overall attitude and the lessons he learned (see his quote above) should motivate the rest of us.

If Cantlay can endure what he did and still come out “on top”, just imagine what we can do with Jesus Christ as our best friend and the Holy Spirit living within us!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

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