We worked up a sweat, my wife and I, as we picked up our heels on our way through the course. Thankful as I was for the solar protection afforded by my brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt, it was still hot, hot, hot! But nice.
Sheltering in the welcome shade afforded by a canopy of trees and resting on a wayside bench, we took a swig from our water bottle, which provided us several minutes of relief from the sun and some refreshment. I lingered for a minute or two on a bridge over the creek to spot signs of aquatic life before moving on and climbing higher to the next area.
Electric golf carts merrily ghosted along, sweeping by us. Their occupants – cucumber cool, ensconced under cute canopies – returned our greetings with smiles and waves. Oh yes, it was indeed a great day for golf. We are very fortunate to have a course like this so close to the community.
How’s our game – our handicap? No game and no handicap – at least, not a golfing one. As a kid I often took club in hand and played at a city putting park. A few years back I ventured to shoot a bucketful of balls wildly across a field, at a driving range. Many years before, I once caddied for a friend, and a half-century ago in Scotland, my shoe leather even touched down on the soil of the venerable St. Andrew’s course, while on holiday there.
No, we weren’t golfing this summer, and neither are we golfers. [And neither are we the handsome couple in the picture!] My wife and I were only virtually on the course, walking the community trails that wind their way through it. We had a pleasant experience, and enjoyed many of the elements golfers enjoy – fresh air and beautiful surroundings of nature and exercise, but no development of golfing skills, and no sense of accomplishment in improving our game or coming ahead of an opponent.
Virtual faith, like my wife’s and my skirting the golfing greens, is still more observation than participation.
Jesus once told a religious man, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).
Let us enter right in and participate. Our Lord Jesus, through His sufferings and death on the cross, paid the price for our entry into the grace and Kingdom of God.