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Never a Hole in One
Photo: Brad Harrison
Being a Christian in a church can be an endless gauntlet of enduring unfairness! This parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25, proves it. At the end of the story, what happens to the man who only got one—and buried it in the ground? The master takes it from him and gives it to the man who already is overflowing with ten. What a ripoff! For everyone who has will be given MORE, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

I heard a story that made me want to take my golf clubs and throw them into a lake. A lot of my golf balls are in lakes, so my clubs may as well join them. But a 49-year-old lady named Jeanette Roberts had three hole-in-ones in eight days at Granite Bay Country Club. Now, you say, if she played that often - three times in eight days - she’s probably the resident pro. No, here are her scores for those three rounds. 101, 91, and another 101. I can do that well myself, and she was hitting from the ladies’ tee. But in the space of just over a week, this hacker had three shots just roll up to the green and go plink. By the way, earlier that same year she’d had another one. So that’s four in one calendar year.

I have played bad golf my entire life and have never once, not a single time, had a hole in one. I’ve only had a couple of them playing miniature golf, which I understand does not truly count anyway. But you may be a pretty good golfer, without ever once hitting a hole in one—and that seems rather unfair.

Bathed in Unfairness

It’s a common theme in Jesus’ parables, which often mention service, that they are bathed with unfairness. Prodigal sons get forgiveness that they don’t deserve. Thieves and hustlers are invited to banquets they have no business attending. Lucky temp workers put in just one hour in a vineyard and get paid the same as the full-timers.

There’s a lesson here that I must learn and that you must learn. The Church belongs to Jesus! It doesn’t belong to the pastor or to influential members of the board. It is here to honor Jesus and to please Jesus and to give grateful worship to Jesus, and then to do the things that Jesus longs for his church to do. It is here to serve his interests. And if things sometimes seem unfair, or hard, or lopsided, or temporarily unproductive—that is essentially beside the point. Unfairness should not be an issue to me if the cause of Jesus is well served.

Every one of us needs to come to church weekly and keep our eye on the ball and our focus on the objective. We don’t come for fun or for food or for friendship, although the church is able to often provide all of those things. We come together to do the work of the Master who gave out five, or two, or one talent and then challenged us to do something great for Him.

In the meantime, look out when I’m teeing off . . . ‘cause I’ve got a nasty slice.

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By David Smith. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION.

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