Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Choose Your Partners Carefully

Yesterday I proved the part of my profile where I say I'm a poor golfer. I played in the United Methodist Relief Center tournament in Charleston. Stono Ferry is a beautiful course, and the weather was great. But the golf? My golf didn't come near even my low standards. Fortunately I dropped several good putts which made me feel like I contributed to the team effort. And since it was a Captain's Choice tournament, we came in respectable, though nowhere near the winners.

As bad as I was striking the ball, however, at no time did anyone in my foursome criticize me or complain about my golf. If anything, there would be a word of encouragement, or a reminder, "The good thing about golf is you get to hit it again."

I've played with groups before where the others took their golf so seriously they seemed putout if (when) I miss-hit the ball. It wasn't fun. Maybe if I was a better player it would have been, but I just felt that I was being an embarrassment or was holding everyone up, or, was causing them to play worse as they "accommodated" me.

But my partners yesterday were golfers of grace. And afterwards we all shook hands and affirmed we enjoyed the time together. As I drove home to Sumter, I thought about how good it was to have partners like that. And I thought about how much more we need partners of grace off the golf course.

What's your church like? Is it full of partners of grace, or is it characterized by those who take their faith so seriously, there's no room for error? Are you surrounded by partners who will encourage you when nothing is going right? Do the ones close to you act as if you are a burden, or nuisance? Or do they say, "Hey, that shot's over and done with; you get another one."

Lord, forgive me for all the times I've played the game of life so seriously, that I failed to be an encouragement to those struggling. And thank you for the partners of grace in my life.

1 comment:

Syd Smith said...

A very appropriate subject today. I also played yesterday in a tourney for NGU. I had a chance to introduce my golf game to the new minister. OH how I hate those young limber backs. Anyway, the weather was great, and as the saying goes,"a bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work".