Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades: Why Wanting to Be Close to God is Good Enough

horseshoesThere’s an old saying that goes, “Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.”

Your boss may have said that to you when you missed a quota. Or maybe your spouse said it when you were a day late for a birthday or anniversary. Whatever the reason, when anyone says this, you’ve messed up. But is there ever a time when “close” is good enough? YES.

Close is good enough when you decide to get close to God.

I could never be good enough to get close to God,” you’re probably thinking. Well, that’s the BEST thing you could think right now, because being close to God has nothing to do with precision or with hitting a goal of any kind. That’s where the horse shoes and hand grenades come in. God Himself has freed us from all the pressure of needing to earn His love. He hit all the marks for us!

James says it this way, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you who are half-hearted towards God (Jas. 4:8).” The formula for being close to God is simple: want to. Simply wanting to be close to God is the quantum leap that makes it happen. You just glance at Him with a desiring heart and He’s all over it like cows on a salt lick.

You don’t have to wait until you feel righteous or holy. You probably never will. You don’t have to live a sinless life before being accepted by God. You can’t. You don’t have to achieve some superhuman spirituality, find Nirvana, or commit the ultimate selfless act of giving all you have to the poor before God will love you. All of those things are our own attempts to earn His love. It simply can’t be done. He already loves you.

So put the horse shoes and hand grenades away. Start wanting to be close to God and watch how fast He shows up and brings all sorts of good things into your life. He’s done all the work for you, so rest in it. Close is good enough for now.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at, or call 251-533-5960.

Serenity in the Midst of Great Change

Serenity is the ability to accept change as from the hand of God.

Perhaps many people have said something similar as the above, but my family and I are currently living it. This year has brought sweeping changes to our careers, locations, and family dynamic. We have endured job changes, empty nest a year early, and a gigantic move from Alabama to Michigan. No wonder my head is swimming!

There have been many days that I have thought to myself, Was this all necessary? Why couldn’t we have kept things as they were? Have I made a huge mistake in all of this? Only time will reveal the mistakes I may have made, but, for now, we are here. The house down South has sold and we have purchased a new one here. The child is stepping into early adulthood and making many of her own decisions. The new career is underway and new benchmarks are being set. It is all completely out of my control.

Maybe that is a part of serenity, as well, realizing that very little of anything is in our control. Time marches unceasingly forward bringing many changes we may or may not welcome. Hair grays, eyes dim, and bellies swell. Okay, maybe we don’t have to let the bellies swell, but it is hard to keep them skinny. The point is that life passes. Kids grow up and we either embrace the changes as from God or we go crazy resisting them.

Serenity is an essential element of healthy living. May you find it today in whatever changes God has brought to you.