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A Good Walk Spoiled

Hello Church Family,

I hope you’re richly experiencing God’s grace this week.

When I was sixteen years old, a man ten years my senior took me golfing for an afternoon at the Kitty Hawk Golf Course in Dayton, Ohio. I’ll never forget that day. It was unbearably humid, which caused my shirt to cling to my back like a peel-off sticker on a child’s bedroom wall. But that’s not what made the day so memorable.

As my friend and I approached the fourteenth hole, he turned to me and abruptly informed me that he was cheating on his wife (of twelve years) with a woman he’d met through his job. He went on to tell me that not another person in the world knew about this, so I needed to keep this new information to myself.

I had no idea what to say. I was absolutely stunned. I looked up to this man. Furthermore, I had no idea why he was telling me. I had little meaningful counsel to offer at that point.  As I recall, I quickly tried to change the subject. “Do these potato chips seem unusually greasy to you?” I probably asked.

I discovered something that day that has been confirmed over the last twenty-five years: there’s something about a golf course that brings out a surprising level of candor in a person. Four-and-a-half hours with someone in the pristine surroundings of God’s quiet creation provides an opportunity to talk about anything and everything.

I’ve shared Jesus with people on a golf course. Listened to people’s issues and idiosyncrasies. Shared some of my own. Laughed about marriage and parenting. Learned some interesting things. Found encouragement in the presence of old friends.  And made some new friends, as well.

I love golf. But it’s not because I’m good at it. Anyone who’s ever played with me knows better. In frustration, I have often felt, as Mark Twain was credited as saying, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” What keeps me coming back, though, is the camaraderie, the competition, and seeing what God often mysteriously does through an afternoon of walking alongside someone.

This Saturday is Northpoint’s Annual Men’s Golf Tournament at Dos Lagos, which is always expertly organized by Dave Lorenz. If you have the time, please join us (click here for details). If you can’t hit a golf ball in a straight direction, you’ll be in good company. Plus, you never know what sort of discussions the Lord might sovereignly bring about!

Glorifying and enjoying God with you,

Pastor John