Grace and Golf - a Life Primer

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Neat word by John Lynch 2016:

Watched a few minutes of "The Legend of Bagger Vance" earlier this evening. Haven't seen it in years. It froze me in place. There is something sacred to picture someone right there, in your moment, seeing your battle; applauding your choices of bravery and integrity and standing with you when you are about to betray yourself because of historically engrained patterns or unremittant pain. Sort of like a young Will Smith as an omniscient caddy, walking you through your life. Gently, and quietly calling your voice; reminding you of who you are, and that you are not at all alone in the muggy, stillness of self-doubt.

"Why is this so wonderfully familiar" I'm thinking.

Oh yeah. Jesus.

I can forget.

When pain or discouragement hits me. It just feels like I am alone. And none of it seems heroic or brave. I'm just unfortunate, in eventually redeemed but randomly expereinced history, losing out and falling hoplessly behind.

But again today, it hit me. He stands next to me, over every shot. He sees all the best in me and knows all I'm capable of. He knows my failures. He knows my compromises, even as a new creature. But He is my fan. And He refuses to believe my failed assessment of me.

Yes, He endwells me. Yes, He is now in the definition of me. But it is this that overwhelms me in worship tonight; His standing next to me, staring kindly and knowingly at me, believing the goodness I can refuse to believe.

Yes, His life in me animates everything. Yes, anything I do well has a Source beyond my striving.

...But that is not His point today. It is that He believes in me, in the moments when it feels like I am about to pick up the ball and improve its position, so I won't be revealed publically in naked shame.

Sometimes, I need to know Jesus has not only recreated me. I need to know that place in me still capable of self-deception, darkness and old patterns-that somehow Jesus can talk calmly and knowingly to that place in me. He not only convinces me of new life in me. He also loves me and stands over me, even if I don't, in the moment, get any of this new identity stuff. He is always able to whisper the real me even when I can't find the real me.

This is so very incredlbly important to me. Yes, a stunningly magnificent God who endwells me, who animates everything, who created the world, and determines the future; Who has made me a new creature.

...But tonight, He doesn't play that card.

He treats me as my choices are what matters. Like the game is not already decided...though it completely is. He allows my position on the battlefield to appear still in question and then reveals us, together, wonderfully rewriting history.

...And so He doesn't demand to be shouted in glory in this moment. He already knows who He is. He is not insecure. Instead, He plays for me, the one who isn't always fully comforted by my new idenity. A kid who just needs to know someone is watching my wanting to do right. Someone carrying my bag.

Why would you play it this way my Jesus?

Because you knew that sometimes just telling me that I was "Christ in me", would not always pull me from the ditch. So, you put on your servant's towel and give dignity to my struggle. That this singular human, amongst billions of humans, that I matter, that I mattered, before I put my hope in You.

Jesus, you could command that I shout Your unspeakable greatness, every moment. Instead, You find me in a hollow, scared and ready to give up in a tournament already decided before eternity.

In Your choosing to do so, I find the thought of You endlessly beyond any words I can put together. Although the battle has been already won, You wait for me to catch up, and You fight for my footing in real time.

Who is like You, my God?
 
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