Golf; A Metaphor for Life

I've heard it many times before. "Golf is a metaphor for life". After this year's British Open, I believe it. For 71 improbable holes, Tom Watson looked to be the victor; a 59 year old putting all the 20, 30 & 40 somethings in their place. He rose to every challenge. He sank impossible 60 foot putts that he called "no brainers". Time and again he split the fairways with magnificent drives that matched his younger opponents not only for accuracy, but for length. Then, on the 72nd hole, with victory in his grasp, something unexpected happened. After a bold putt from the fringe zipped by the cup and settled some 8 feet away, Tom Watson putted, not to win, but to keep from losing. At that moment, the British Open was over. Oh I know that he and Stewart Cink played a four hole playoff, but the tournament ended when Tom switched from offense to defense on that next to last putt. At that point, the 72 hole finish line was moved to the 76th hole, and Tom was programmed for 72.
There is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that is repeated several times; "to him who overcomes". The phrase always precedes a promise for eternal reward. It implies that a person must persevere, not let down, never give up. To win 71 holes is not enough. You must win the 72nd hole, or if need be, the 76th, in order to collect the reward.
I'm interim pastor of a small church made up mostly of people in their mid sixties and up. Many of them are on their 72nd hole, and are clinging to the hope of the reward to come. Their favorite hymns and choruses are those pertaining to heaven. They have switched from offense for the kingdom to defense, just hanging on to what they have and hoping that life doesn't go into overtime.
I know a person who announced before their 87th birthday that they would die either on or soon after that day. They will be 88 next week, and have lived almost every day of the past year in disappointment that they are still alive. How sad! I've often said that I would like to have the epitaph of Moses. It is recorded in Deuteronomy 34:7, "Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated." What a way to go! On the 76th hole in overtime and still going strong. Now that's how the game is supposed to be played.

Comments

I'm not a golf person, but I watched the closing moments of that game with great interest. What a finish!

I so agree with you about peoples' attitude about their impending demise. So many say that they look forward to it to be re-united with Christ.

That is wrong. God gave us life to be lived - and to be lived to the full. Not to count the days for its ending - regardless of the hoped for goal thereafter.

Life is a gift from God; and it is not up to us to decide when and how it should be ended. This is His prerogative.

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