Ed, my neighbor next door, suggested we go for a game of golf out at Neudorf last week. Trying to get one step ahead of Ed, I agreed to go only if he brought his wallet and drove us out there. I’m sure it sounds petty, but Ed always forgets his wallet and needs me to pay for his golfing. He always has an excuse why he cannot drive, so we go on my gas.
I forgot how Ed loves to sightsee as he drives. It is like he is a detective searching for clues in every field and a judge giving the verdict of best and worst crop he has seen this year. I should have known we would travel some gravel roads there and back, because Ed had to check out reports of wind damage. A metal grain bin was swept away by recent high winds and no one can figure out where it disappeared to. Ed was determined we might spot it when others haven’t. We did not see a trace of it either. A lot of my golf balls disappeared that day without a trace also.
You probably know Ed had his wallet at the golf course alright, but it was emptier of money than a classroom of students in summer holidays. Ed had forgotten he needed to go to the bank. The first golf game of the season was a rough one for me, as I lost more golf balls in the trees than I could count. Ed was having a great golf game, so he was gloating and I was pouting. Ed insists we go golfing together because I’m a poor golfer. I make him feel great about his golfing.
Try as we might, we cannot always get ahead of circumstances that frustrate us here on earth. Hitting the golf ball straight down the fairway can happen, but not as often as I might want it to happen. They say that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but I hope it doesn’t hold true for good golfers and poor ones. Ed says that taking me golfing makes up for all the other stuff wrong with me, because I can make him look like a good golfer.
That gave me the opportunity to tell Ed he should really give God a chance, because God specializes in making people look good. I asked Ed if he would honestly claim to be the best or one of the best golfers in the world.
“Of course not,” he answered. “What has that got to do with anything concerning God?” Ed asked.
“Most of us would admit we are not the best or one of the best people in the world. When we come to that admission that we only look good compared to certain other people – God’s invitation to trust in his son Jesus Christ can make sense to us. Jesus lived a sinless life for us because we cannot be perfect. He died giving his righteousness to God for us. He also died as a sacrifice for our sins, that the penalty of our sin was paid by him in our place. When we trust in Jesus we are looking good before God.”
Ed claims that looking like a good golfer compared to me is enough for him, which I say is a pretty empty honor in his life.