Did you hear about the horse that walked up to the bar and the bartender said, “Why the long face?”
Last week Chaz came up to the pro shop counter after his round and I said, “How did you play?” With a face that looked like Eeyore he said, “Not bad,” and turned and walked off. I was pretty busy at the moment but later texted him and said, “Why the long face today?” He texted back, “Lots of personal issues … I’m struggling.” So I replied, “Okay, I’ll crank up the prayers.” He wrote back, “Thanks Brad.”
I prayed hard for Chaz that night, but I’m not sure he would have liked my prayers. You see Chaz has a great job, owns two houses, has a gorgeous wife and plays nearly a hundred rounds of golf a year. By the world’s standards he should be happy as a lark, but I know him well enough to know God is not yet in the mix. Now that he’s hit a bump in the road I’m sure he would appreciate me praying that his life gets back to “normal.”
Sorry, bud, ain’t gonna happen. I care about you too much to just hope your life runs perfectly smooth for the next 50 years and then you go out in style celebrating a hole-in-one on your 92nd birthday. Because what would happen next is you would be standing before God; He would look deep into your eyes and then shake His head from side to side and say, “I never knew you.”
Those are words you definitely don’t want to hear on Judgment Day. For that NOT to happen there has to be an “ah, ha” moment here on earth where we say, “I get it; it’s not about me.” Some call it a conversion experience, some say they “Come to Jesus,” the Bible calls it being “born again.” (John 3.3)
My prayer for Chaz is that he comes to know God. And if that means one or two or 50 bumps in his road to “wake him up” spiritually, then so be it.
At the end of Jesus’ longest sermon he says, “You are foolish if you build a house on sand instead of on rock. When the winds and the rain come it will fall with a loud crash.” (Matthew 7.26).
Chaz is a construction whiz and can build a house as easily as I can swing a golf club. But he has built his house on sand and is feeling the effects of some wind and rain. The good news is that God is in the remodeling business. And it’s never too late to go back and “build it right.”
• Brad Butler is a PGA golf pro who attends Mountain Park Community Church in Ahwatukee Foothills. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.