"When You Don't Get What You Want"

In these past weeks leading up to the Masters golf tournament, I have been watching some Sunday afternoon televised play. I tell Monique that I'm trying to familiarize myself with those elite competitors who will likely face off at Augusta National, the much anticipated spring classic scheduled during April 8-11. In all honesty, though, my motivation is to justify why my golf game has never risen above "duffer status!" When I see the professionals struggle as they have at the recent Players at Sawgrass in Florida or the Dell Match Play tournament in Austin, I still feel that there is hope for me!

Credit: clipart-library.com

You see, my golf game is characterized more as using the whole course...water, rough and sand! I have "rinsed more balls" than I can count in trying to get over a body of water. I have spent more time in the tall grass, across the cart paths and in the course landscaping areas than on the fairways or greens. I yell "Fore!" and then ask "Where is my ball?" more than any person with an extremely high handicap should ever have to! And my ball loves to play in the sand more than a day-care toddler! In short, I'm a sorry golfer, but I'm still fascinated by the game! What's wrong with me?!

The other day, I picked up a useful bit of philosophy from the golf commentator, David Feherty. I can't remember the exact context of the remark, but I'm pretty certain that it followed a series of bad shots from some of the best golfers in the world. Feherty who has distinguished himself over his career as a professional golfer, golf-talk programmer and now broadcaster with NBC and the Golf Channel, was actually quoting Randy Pausch, (The Last Lecture) in his inimitable Irish accent as he intoned, "You know, experience is what you get when you don't get what you want!" 

I've given that statement some serious thought. "Experience...what you get...when you don't get...what you want!" I certainly have gained a lot of experience over my lifetime! 😉 This is another way of saying, I haven't always shot the golf ball where I wanted it to go and I most assuredly have not gotten everything I have wanted in life. Good thing, too! There is a blessing in God telling us "No!" I have actually written about this subject in another blog (11-25-18) - Is "No" An Answer? "Yes!" (mjkministries.com)  

James and John did not get what they (or their mother!) wanted in being seated at a place of prominence in Jesus' cabinet of "great ones!" (Mark 10:35-45). Jesus denied their request and stated his expectations for them as "Whoever wants to be great... must be... a servant." Peter was so impressed with the Transfiguration of Jesus that he wanted to build everyone a shelter and stay in that rapturous place of worship forever. God said, "This is my Son... Listen to Him!" Then Jesus said, "Get up and let's get going!" (Matthew 17:1-8).

During the Triumphal Entry, just days before the suffering and humiliation of the cross and while entering Jerusalem, Jesus sat upon a donkey and received the prophetic accolades of the palm-waving crowds as they shouted, "Hosanna! Son of David! Blessed is He coming in the Lord's name!" (Matthew 21:1-11). During this pageantry and welcome, I wonder how many of those Zealots within the ranks of the Disciples, must have been thinking, "What can we do to force Jesus' hand and get him to use his power to usher in the Kingdom of God?" They would not get want they wanted either!

God had another experience for those who shared in the events of the cross. Suffering and death? Yes, but something more! Resurrection! God knows we need life more than we need our worldly wants satisfied. Now, we must go out and share what we know and have received with others! Christ is alive! Our resurrected Lord is the Savior of the world! Let's get up and get going!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor, 
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 


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