I am absolutely horrible at golf. It’s not like I haven’t practiced at times in my life. When I was a kid, I used to practice putting around my backyard. But I also used to play a lot of baseball. So, when I have a golf club in my hands, the ol’ baseball swing takes over and the results are, well, not good.
As you may guess, because I’m awful at golf, I don’t like to play it. I am even known by friends as the Protest Golfer. If I were good, that might be a different story. Then, golfing wouldn’t be four hours of torture and frustration. But now, the only way to get me to golf is to invite me to a benefit tournament with friends. Why?
In benefit tournaments I get to give myself for a great cause and be with all my friends. But that isn’t enough to get me on the golf course. I could write my check and lounge around the clubhouse waiting for the social gathering afterwards. What gets me to actually borrow some poor soul’s clubs and get into the golf cart? It’s called “best ball.”
What does that mean? Well, in benefit tournaments, you are part of a team, usually three or four people. That helps. But even better is the “best ball” rule. That means that when all four players take a shot, you only count the best one. All the other shots are canceled out, and everyone takes their next shot from the spot of the best one!
That means that when I tee off and the ball goes sideways and ricochets off the golf cart, all I have to do is go fetch it and then take my next shot from where the best guy landed his. You can stink and not sink the team! All your mistakes and failures disappear.
It also means that if you have a superstar, your team is set to win. Then everyone else’s amateur shots don’t matter too much. You just relax and enjoy the game and follow the superstar. If I were on the same team as Tiger Woods, we would win every tournament, guaranteed.
The Lord wants us to be on His team and live His Life with Him. What if you’re not good at it? What if you are like me and you break clubs and lose golf balls on a regular basis. What if, like Peter trying to walk on water, you have a tendency to sink in your faith? “Lord, save me!” (Mt 14:30)
No problem. Because when you’re with the Lord in His Life, you’re playing best ball. “And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand took hold of him…” (Mt 14:31)
You’re on the best player’s team. You’re guaranteed to win.