Thursday, July 8, 2010

God Loves the Hacker

Do you get jealous watching someone ridiculously talented at work? I had the chance yesterday to watch my cousin’s son, Scott, play a round of golf. He plays for Arizona State University and happened to be playing a tournament near Tacoma. My experience was unbelievable.

I’d much rather play than watch golf, but this was a unique opportunity. Some of the country’s top amateur golfers were in town for this tourney. It wasn’t much advertised and it’s a warmup to the upcoming U.S. Amateur Open in August. So I got to walk with three of the players almost like a caddy. I kept my distance to let them concentrate, but Scott was kind enough to talk with his cousin-uncle watchamacallit.

As a lifetime mediocre, yet passionate golfer I was able to watch these three punks (okay, nice young men – just jealous again) play spectacular golf. Of course it’s all relative. Would you be ticked off shooting a 78? Would you be satisfied with a 70? Heck, if I can just get out to play once a month and keep it to double digits I’d be happy.

Shot after shot I gasped and groaned out loud (not too loud of course – it is golf) at their remarkable skill. 200 yards to the pin? 10 feet away. 125 yards to the pin? 3 feet away. 250-275 yard drives every time. Move the ball left at will? Done. How about to the right? Done. Difficult shots from the bunker? No problem. 30 foot putts? Drained.

There’s a point when you stop castigating yourself and just tip your cap and applaud. Wow! It’s pretty sweet to watch people at the top of their game. Be it golf, singing, preaching, cooking, or whatever. To put a theological spin on it, it’s a darn good thing God doesn’t grade on a curve – only the top X% earning his favor. If God only loved the top golfers – no way in the world I’d make it. Heck, even these guys – as amazing as they are – aren’t even necessarily the world’s top players. There’s a couple of teenagers already playing on the Pro Tour.

We have a God who loves the underdog as much as the professional. And, He doesn’t just tolerate us either. He’s in love with us. We all have the highest value in his eyes. God loves Scott passionately. God loves pro golfers passionately. And even though I’m a danger to the world any time I pull out a 3 iron, God love me and all other hackers passionately.

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