The Invitation...

Let’s pretend that one day along about the middle of July, your spouse (if you have one) hands you the cordless and says, “It’s Tiger, Tiger Woods.” You are sipping lemonade at the time and lounging in a hammock you purchased on sale at WalMart when it dropped below twenty bucks. Taking the phone, you jam it to your ear and say, “Ya right, who is this, what do you want?”

There is silence. Then you hear him laugh a laugh you’ve heard on TV. You picture a grin you’ve seen while he hoists major trophies above his head.

“Will you golf with me?” asks Tiger, “We tee off at 1 p.m.”

“Um…uh…” you stammer, “Well, ahem—”

“It’s just me and a few friends.”

“F-f-friends?” Your tongue will not cooperate.

Amid the shock you hear him mention a few of his buddies. Some guys named Arnold and Jack. He says the three of them just want to hang out a bit. Get to know you.

“Where do we land the helicopter?” he asks.

You are having trouble responding for two reasons: There is lemonade up your nose. And you have fallen out of the blasted hammock.

“Uh, you can land it at the hospital,” you manage. “I’ll meet you there. I think I’m having a heart attack.”

            Ridiculous, you say. That could never happen. And you’re probably right. The odds of Tiger calling your house today are the same as the odds of being hit by a falling coconut in Nome, Alaska. After all, a master of the game of golf wouldn’t stoop to play with the likes of us, would he?

            Well, I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that you’re right about Tiger. But the good news is that the Master of all creation has extended you an invitation to walk with him. He has your picture in his wallet, he has a tee-time booked with you. The Bible says, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love” (Ephesians 1:4, MSG).

This past winter, thanks to our Uncle Air Miles, our family enjoyed the sand and surf of Maui (if you’re reading this in Moose Lake, Yukon, I apologize) and a brief visit to the Mercedes Open. The world’s best had assembled there to shoot it out for the coveted trophy. Or maybe it was the million dollars.

Few times in my life have I enjoyed myself more. But while I’ve been privileged to stand on some of the world’s most magnificent golf courses, I cannot do so without a tugging in my soul. That tugging prompted me to spend ninety mornings this summer immersing myself in the Gospel accounts. Underlining. Meditating on the words of Jesus. After the immersing, I would call my sons, or some friends and we would head out to the course where we would golf and tell stories. It wasn’t easy, all this research! But three things happened:

First of all, I got golfer’s tan. I sit in the swimming pool now and teenagers wrinkle their pierced eyebrows at my leathery neck, my tanned legs and what appear to be little white socks.

Secondly, I shaved four strokes from my handicap with a few simple tips I’ll be happy to show you.

And best of all I came to understand thirty-six life principles this glorious game can teach us. Principles that are essential to getting our lives back on course.

I’d love to offer you a cordless phone with a direct link to Tiger. But I have something far better to share with you today. The Master wants to walk with you. He wants to be your teacher and your coach. He wants to lead you beside still waters, all the way Home.

So thanks for joining me. Grab your clubs. Looks like we’re up.

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