‘I Play Like It’s The Last Day of My Life’

As much as I love the game of golf, I can honestly say that I’ve never read a golf-related article that brought tears to my eyes. Until I read the incredible story of Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. (Even if you’re not a golfer, I think you’ll be glad you read the article at that link).

Whereas many of today’s tour pros grew up on golf courses, Rodriguez grew up picking corn next to a golf course in Irapuato, Mexico.

Whereas many of today’s tour pros were on full-ride scholarships at Division I universities, Rodriguez dropped out of school at age 12 to help his family make money.

Whereas many of today’s tour pros were raised by at least middle class families, Rodriguez grew up in a house with dirt floors and no running water. Many days, he didn’t have enough to eat.

With all of the many advantages given to today’s young athletes, it’s completely unthinkable that someone with all of Rodriguez’ disadvantages could have risen so far. It just doesn’t happen. 

Which probably goes a long way toward explaining why he lives with such a profound sense of gratitude and a determination to make the most of his opportunities.

As he put it, “I play like it’s the last day of my life.”

I love that. Oh, that we would do the same.

When I was doing a lot of speaking, I often thought about putting a portion of Luke 12:20 somewhere on my computer where only I could see it: “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”

When I glanced at the computer to see what slide was coming up next, or when we were on a break in a workshop, I wanted the reminder.

That it wasn’t about me.

That many of the people I was speaking to were dealing with significant financial issues and that the opportunity to speak into those issues should never ever be taken lightly.

That I should give everything I’ve got toward trying to help people.

There was something about such a harsh warning that appealed to me. I’m certainly not saying this is right, but on the grace/truth scale, my tendencies lean toward truth. 

Ultimately, I never did tape those words to my computer. I thought it was a bit melodramatic. And besides, that wasn’t the proper context of the verse.

But I’ve thought about those words many times since then, and the story of Jose de Jesus Rodriguez reminded me about them. The older I get, the more aware I am of how short and precious this life is. I want to make the most of it, to not waste any of it. Don’t you?

What if we “played” like Rodriguez? What if we took that spirit into our work? Our marriage. Our parenting. Every day.

What if we finally got serious about our finances? Stopped messing around with debt. Started giving sacrificially with passion and joy. 

What if we dropped the excuses? And the complaints. What if we just got after it as if every day was a gift? As if it’s the last day of our life?

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colosians 3:23-24

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