Amen, CornerFebruary 11, 2009
Tomorrow, I’ll head off to Augusta, Georgia to play what is perhaps the most famous golf course in the world. I’d always dreamed of just seeing the place. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d actually get an opportunity to play it. Now, it’s been about 3 years since I played a single round of golf. Haven’t played regularly in at least 10 years. But nonetheless, I’ll be there, on that most hallowed ground … and I’m still not sure I’ve really processed that yet. I may, I suppose, when I stand on the tee box at Amen Corner – a hole I’ve seen played countless times by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – any and every legend of the game. It may be the most famous hole in all of golf and, no doubt, it’ll take my breath away. The history! The beauty! The ghosts! … just absolutely surreal. I’ll do my dead-solid best to just tee it up, relax, and put a decent swing on it … and we’ll see where that lands me. I’m guessing in the drink, … but, I digress. There are, I suppose, a couple of thoughts I have on the whole matter.
I think, first, that God has presented me with this opportunity because He wants me to see beauty. He wants to remind me that life isn’t all flourescent lights, conference calls and monthly payments. A man needs to be in this type of setting from time to time to be reminded of the absolute wonder of God’s creation. To hear from Him. And, in a place like this – this most serene and heavenly little corner of the earth, how can we not be reminded of what He’s capable of? Of what He has in store for us in heaven? If THIS is possible HERE, then … how indescribably beautiful it must be THERE, eh?
Secondly, I think an opportunity like this has proven to me that I’ve grown. I’ve matured in Him. Not only because I’m able to see this for the gift that it is, but because I recognize that it’s also a picture of my life. I see the bigger picture. I see that, much like Augusta National, my life is absolutely beautiful. Just as those groundskeepers at Augusta have meticulously pruned every last blade of grass, God has pruned and planned every last detail and moment of my life. It’s all perfect – exactly as it was intended to be.
And I know that, just as I’ll experience one breathtaking moment after another as I venture from hole to hole on my way to the end of my round, I’m experiencing those same moments in my life, as I move from season to season. I can become exasperated when things don’t go as I plan (be that chili dipping a chip shot just off the green or an unexpected bill that comes in the mail), or I can, on each and every historic tee box, smile, put my best swing on the ball and enjoy doing the very best I can, exactly where I’m at. Because, again – I have faith that where I am, is exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s up to me to find Him there. To find Him in that particular location or situation … to find His purpose for me there. So, regardless of how deep the rough is where my ball will undoubtedly land, I have to maintain perspective. I’m in the rough … but, I’m in the rough at Augusta Freaking National. Right? At home, are things rough? At times. Is it deep? Sure. But, again … I’ve got a job. An education. A future. A beautiful wife that loves me. Two amazing boys that love me. And, most importantly, a God that loves me. I’ve got Augusta National in my very own home, every day. So – how deep is that rough, really?
I suppose, the lesson that most comes to mind for me here, is that in my life, I’d do well to do as I am this week. I won’t wait until I’m walking up the fairway on #18 (OK- as though I’ll be anywhere NEAR the fairway on #18 … so, let me rephrase that … I won’t wait until I’m digging through the pine needles somewhere out of bounds on #18 …) to realize where I’m at, what I’ve been given, what I’m able to do and enjoy, how amazing it is and how undeserving I am of it all. So, I’ll look expectantly forward, anticipating the moment. And once there, I’ll appreciate it – not looking ahead to what’s next. I’ll spend that time thinking of Him and thanking Him for it, noticing every detail … as I know how carefully crafted they are, by the world’s greatest greenskeeper.
Wish me luck. Pictures, video and a few thoughts coming on Friday.