Monday, April 10, 2017

Devotion 4.11.17

The Masters Golf Tournament is over.  Sergio Garcia may have won the tournament, but Matt Kuchar won the moment when he hit a hole-in-one on the par 3 Number 16.  He enjoyed the moment high-fiving everyone as he walked the hole, and when he reached the green and got his ball, he pulled out a marker and signed the ball, walked straight to a little boy standing near the green, and handed him the ball.  That boy had no way of appreciating what he just received, but his dad standing next to him did. 

Like NASCAR, it seems like golf has it backwards, playing its "Super Bowl" in the first major tournament of the year (NASCAR starts with the ultimate race - Daytona).  What makes the Masters enjoyable is its rich history.  For example, from his first appearance at the Masters until this year, Arnold Palmer was involved as a player and then starter for 60+ years - approximately 3/4's of the existence of the Masters.  His absence was noted with an empty chair where he ceremoniously sat as one of the starters for many years since his retirement.

I've had friends attend the event, coveted among the golf world since it is difficult to get a pass to view it live on the course.  One thing they note that is difficult to observe from TV is the terrain.  Augusta (the golf course) sits in a mountainous area, but TV doesn't show the course's undulations clearly so it is hard to appreciate the difficulty of the course.  We only notice it when a golfer hits a ball at the front of the green and it begins to roll backwards, finally coming to rest well back in the fairway.

CS Lewis talks about our eyes inability to see clearly in "Screwtape Letters" in the final chapter.  A young man, whose soul Screwtape (a demon) has been after has died and apparently gone to heaven. Screwtape chastises his nephew, the "caretaker" of the soul while on earth, for letting this one "slip through."  In the final letter from Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, called "A Sudden Clearing of the Eyes," Lewis notes that upon death we see much more clearly the truth, like seeing Augusta in person rather than on TV.  Because of this sudden clearing of our eyes, we see the Trinity, whom Screwtape disrespectfully calls "Them," and we say, "It was you all the time!" We see the hand of God in our lives at times, but in the end, when we meet God, we realize he was more present in our lives than we realized. 

Through Christ, we see God, but we still see him through sinful eyes, and our imperfections block the truth.  In Romans, Paul says, "For what can be known about God is plain to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (1:19 - 20)  We can perceive God and know God, but we still don't see plainly.

We pray that the Spirit opens our hearts and our minds to the gospel.  We pray that the Spirit use us to present the truth in love to those in need of the gospel who may not know the truth.  We pray that God make perfect our feeble attempts because of our imperfections as we seek His will in our lives and share the gospel with others.

Hope Men's Ministry

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