Golf: It’s all about the Cup! …Par 3

In the summer of 2009, Links Players International challenged its participants to contribute short essays responding to the question, What is the most poignant lesson God has taught you through the game of golf?”  Recreated below is my response to that request.

 It’s All About the Cup

A few days ago a friend and I were engaged in a little chipping competition to see who could get closer to the cup with their chip shots.  In the course of that competition my friend had the “good fortune” to fly his chip directly into the cup—nothin’ but net!  We stopped for a moment had a good laugh and experienced the joy of our camaraderie.  The sight of the ball disappearing into the cup is still fresh in my mind.

That experience reminded me of the simple truth that it doesn’t matter how or from where you hit the ball, what matters is that it goes into the cup and stays.  You can “FedEx” it in from the next fairway, blast it out of a bunker or a creek bed or knock it in from sixty feet away.  You can bang it over the green and then send it back to the cup from the “north forty,” or finesse a double breaking putt from ten feet out.

The approach or where the ball came from does not matter as long as the ball goes in the cup. If the ball goes in the cup, the score counts.  There is no way to record your score unless the ball goes into the cup.  There is no “Plan B.”

Some time later, as I reminisced again at my friends shot and his good fortune, I was struck with awe at the realization that there is a direct correlation between the importance of the cup in golf and “The Cup” of my life—Jesus Christ.  God, the Rule Maker of all things, provided for me a “Cup” —Jesus Christ—my portal to eternal life with our Maker.  Nothing else matters: my past, my friends, my neighborhood, my clothes, my job or my age.  None of it.  I can approach his portal of grace from anywhere at any time.

Now when I walk on to a green and see “the cup,” I am once again thankful that God provided “the Cup” of Jesus sacrifice so that I might receive mercy, forgiveness, and grace through which I can “score” eternal life with the Creator of all things.

It’s all about “the Cup,” the only way to score.

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