Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Do You Hate Me?

I started playing golf in 1994 at the age of 34.  I’ve always been a determined athlete.  By that, I mean that I was blessed with more desire than talent.  I enjoy playing golf, but I have never been able to master the skills to shoot a low score.  I’m looking forward to when I reach my 90’s or low 100’s so I can shoot my age!

For many years I was part of a group of men that would go on a golf marathon weekend every year.  We used to go in the spring, but for the past several years, the trip has been in early to mid-June.  Some would play 18 holes on Thursday as a warm-up round, and then we would play 36 holes Friday, 36 on Saturday, and finish with 18 holes on Sunday.  We usually go to one of the RTJ golf courses on the Alabama Golf Trail, which are very nice courses, but also very challenging.  I always play my absolute worst golf on these trips.

A few years ago we were playing in June, and I think we were at the RTJ course in Prattville.  The temperatures were in the 100’s and the humidity made it feel even worse.  The course marshals were driving around handing out cold wet towels that we could put over our heads to try to cool off.  I was struggling to move the ball down the fairway.  I had hit a decent tee shot that landed in the short grass on the fairway, and had an easy approach into the green.  But I duffed my second shot, and the ball rolled a few yards down the fairway.  I hit my third shot with a similar result.  Determined to make a good shot into the green, I stepped back and relaxed a few seconds, and then took my shot.  I shanked it into the trees to the left of the fairway.  Out of frustration, and for some comic relief, I dropped my club, threw my arms in the air, and shouted, “God, why do you hate me?”

I was reminded of this story yesterday by my friend Craig, who witnessed the event.  We had a good laugh, but I thought of this today as I was reading from a book my Dad recently gave me titled Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray.  In the second chapter he is writing about the blessedness of being filled by the Holy Spirit, and how this is an expression of God’s ultimate love for us.  He is willing to live within us, to be our life, and to fill us with the joy of knowing God.  God’s love for us is amazing! 

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV

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