Thursday, February 02, 2006

Just One Hole-in-One, Please

For Christmas, Beverly got me an "Amazing But True Golf Facts" calendar. Listen to this one!

"You wouldn't think another ace would be all that special to someone like Mike Hilyer of Gulf Shores, Alabama. After all, he'd had ten previous ones. But his hole in one in 2004 was special enough for Hilyer to alert the media. No, he didn't win big bucks or do anything otherwise remarkable in terms of aces. But it was the first ace on a par-3. His ten previous aces all happened on par-4s."

That makes me sick!:) I've been playing this game since I was 9 years old, and I have never had an ace. And I am a better-than-average golfer. I've sunk shots from the fairway on par-4s for eagles, but never had a hole-in-one. This guy has had 11! And 10 of them on par-4s!

So, here is the theological dilemma (I've got to make some kind of application): People view God's "providence" in many ways. What do you think is the application in my never having had a hole-in-one?
The extreme Calvinist would say that I have not had a hole-in-one because it is not God's will. When it is God's will (if indeed it ever is), He will direct my ball into the hole.
The extreme Armenian would say that God has availed me to the potential for certain talents and skills. When my talents and skills get to the point of perfection, I increase my chances for a hole-in-one.

I don't always agree with either extreme in the discussion of "providence." But on trivial things like this, I really don't think God involves Himself. Does He care who wins the Super Bowl? Or if I ever get an ace? I think He is more concerned with how we, His children, conduct ourselves in every situation -- win or lose.

As to a hole-in-one: It's got a little to do with skill, and a lot to do with luck.


Melanie Morales said...

Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who does not golf. My dad took me to one of those places where you just hit balls - sorry, can't recall what those are called. (I told you I wasn't a golfer!) After an hour and a half of not even making CONTACT with the ball, we decided that maybe golfing would not be my thing.

However, I do play a mean game of putt-putt so I can related to the ace in the hole thing - though I'm sure it's not as challenging as a fairway. It's really not fair to compare because I also just have one club to choose from to play such a game - the putter. Anyway -

I played tennis in high school. I was not much of an athlete - but I needed the credit and tennis was something I managed to play with my dad when the golf thing didn't work out. I wasn't good. Even by JV team standards, I wasn't good. By PE standards - I was "incredibly talented" which is how I ended up on JV. But my coach loved me. So did the rest of the team because of the spirit by which I played. I didn't care if I was put down in straight sets in under 20 minutes. It was a good thing I didn't care about winning because I don't think I ever did. But I had fun and cheered on my team. I was also doing something that no one ever thought I would do - actually participate and work out in athletics. It also earned me team manager position which meant I got to go with Varsity on all of their trips! But at sports banquets, I was recognized by the tennis coach every year for the spirit by which I played.

I look at it this way: When we have God, we already have the Ace in the Hole in our lives. When we take joy and confidence in that, the rest will come in God's timing. Meanwhile, we play the game of life with all of the Spirit we've got!

Randy said...

Of course the fundamental problem is that you play golf in the first place.

My daughter swam for two years on her high school swim team. This was a working class neighborbood in southeast Dallas that did not emphasize athletics. (We'r not talking Plano East here.) In any event the team was awful and Krystal was worst than the other swimmers. Linda or I went to every meet and I don't recall ever seeing them win or Krystal swimming faster than anyone. However, the kid loved every minute she spent in the water. Perhaps it was God's providence that she that she had that opportunity in a non-competitive environment and I thank Him for it.

Jeff said...

I think God helps us when He feels it will benefit us spiritually. I believe that the job I presently have was through the hand of God. I was interviewing for another company and just called an old college friend to see what he knew about the company. What do you know but that I end up working for a Christian man who is a great person.
When I was job hunting after college, I told a recruiter I would go anywhere except Ft. Worth and Houston. I wound up in Ft. Worth and started attending a church I would not have picked except for a colleague and met a wonderful woman there. Again, I think God certainly had some direction in that happening.