Deck Cheatham

Deck Cheatham

Dear Stelle,

Two men, embarking on a nature walk, came upon a most exquisite flower. To the one, the flower spoke of beauty, of creation and wonder. He looked upon the flower and within he sensed God’s created good and strove to find the words to describe his experience but could not. He thought even the greatest poet could never etch in verse the sublime expression of the flower.

The second man saw the flower and began to wonder. How did this come to be? How does nature make the plant grow and produce such a magnificent blossom? To him, his mind wanted to know about chlorophyll and stamens and stigma, about bracts and calyx, about bees and pollen. Because his intent was on these things, he missed the expression of the flower. Instead, he thought, “Of what use will this flower grant me an advantage?”

I wrote in my last letter love begins in mercy and a heart so inclined desires not to be right though there is a right. Of the two men, which desired to be right and which knew there was a right? Clarity suggests when I use the word “right,” I mean truth. On your journey, language will be important. I encourage you to go beyond words and search for meaning. Meaning is where truth is revealed. Beware of those who use language to confuse and confound. This is only meant to deter you. If you approach truth like the one man and not the second, life’s purpose will open to you.

When meaning began to find weight in my heart, a rising clarity focused my thinking. My faith evolved from a sort of haziness to an intentionality seeking faith’s framework — obedience, doctrine, worship, sacrament. Cultural church fashion no longer swayed me. This intentionality followed a deep understanding God would always be present as long as I abided in him and remembered. This is not easy. But the struggle sharpens those who keep seeking. God always provides from his abundance.

My life began to desire the discipline of the devoted life for such a life is a devotional life, one intent on abiding in God’s word, listening to the conversations of a mindful remembrance of His covenant and giving my attention to his instruction. For this, I needed a frame steering me constantly back to his sacrifice. I needed his church and all its form.

Be aware God’s church is what you do outside those four walls where you worship. Outside the four walls is God’s soil for the devotional life, the field in which the plant grows and the flower blossoms. Sadly, inside the four walls, too many attempt to replace God as the audience, to form this interior in man’s image with all types of theories and confusing’s and confounding’s. A devotional life will see through this thin veil. Remember, it is better to do right than be right. But also remember, love begins in mercy.

More to come.

Love,

Deacon

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Write to him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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