John Wimber wrote a book called, “Everyone gets to play”. He was more interested in his relationship with Jesus and how it impacted his life and others, than religion.
However, “playing” in the Kingdom of God is not straightforward. It’s a bit like a game of golf. The game of golf is the most difficult game I have played.
I am reasonable at most ball sports. I mean, I have a gold medal for table tennis from the Olympics at Club Med in Tahiti. God has given me good hand eye co-ordination. Hit a ball to me and I have pretty good reactions.
But when it comes to Golf I am absolutely hopeless. Golf is different – the ball is not coming at you. This little golf ball is sitting there waiting to be hit. It’s just me and that little ball and too much time to think.
A game of opposites
And Golf is a game of opposites. The softer you try and hit the ball the further it goes. It is all about timing and it is not about your own strength. The last game of Golf I played was with my Uncle. He was playing every week and getting coaching lessons. I hadn’t played golf for about a year.
I remember the first tee. I agreed to tee off first. Because I had such low expectations on how far I could hit the ball and in which direction, I just swung through softly. By total fluke the ball travelled 200 metres perfectly straight down the middle of the fairway.
My Uncle badly sliced his first shot and ended up 150 metres in the rough. His second shot was fairly ordinary and ended up a decent distance from the hole.
My second shot was average, but on the edge of the green.
My Uncle’s third shot was as good as my second shot and positioned about 30 metres from the green. I was on the green in two and a chance for a birdee. I stood on the green behind the flag in pride as my Uncle played his fourth shot from 30 metres away. What happened next was amazing. My Uncle played his fourth shot using a wedge.
Now, I don’t know if you know much about a wedge, but the aim is to lift the ball off the ground and let it fall gently onto the green with a bit of back spin. Unfortunately, instead of getting underneath the ball, my Uncle topped it. He hit the ball with the wrong part of the club.
So instead of the ball sailing up into the air to land gently onto the green, the ball took off and was coming at me real fast. I had little time to get out of the way.
I could see this small ball flying at me with the aim to hit and hurt me. Just as I was bracing myself for the pain, a miracle happened. The ball hit near the top of the flag pole. About three quarters of the way up. Not only did the ball hit the flag pole, but on impact, it rolled down the pole and into the cup.
My Uncle yelled out “Par”. I looked at him in total bewilderment and proceeded to three putt. He won the hole! So it is with Christ.
A Kingdom of opposites
The last will be first.
We need to lose our life to save it.
It’s not about success and recognition.
It’s about humbling ourselves in service.
It’s not about you and accumulation.
It’s about sharing and community.
It’s not what you have and what you wear on the outside.
It’s what you have on the inside that counts.
For we need not strive on our own strength.
We can rely on God to guide us and give us strength.
It’s easy to react to the world coming at you.
The deadlines, the text messages, the problems in our lives.
It’s harder to concentrate on the one thing that matters.
The most important thing.
And it does not matter how good our first shot is.
It is still easy to fall by the wayside and three putt.
It’s easy to muck up when you try and do things in your own strength.
With hard hands rather than soft hands.
And it does not matter how many bad shots you have made in the past.
It does not matter how far you are off the fair way.
It does not matter how deep you are in the rough, or how difficult the bunker shot is.
God can work a miracle.
He can find the hole through a miracle of grace.
Because he planned us to succeed! Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11.
Just lean on and trust in him. Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5
And have faith! Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1
Wayne Graham worked in the media for over 30 years before leaving to follow a call to set up The Daily Encourager. A media based on good values showcasing the best of New Zealand society. He has a passion for Jesus and enjoys walking, ball sports, the arts and song writing. https://dailyencourager.co.nz/