Pursuit of “Holeyness”
When the Olivet Baptist Church Men’s group asked me if I wanted to golf, I gladly accepted. It had been about two and a half years since I golfed last and it was two and a half years ago that I realized my golf shoes were too small, so this should serve as insight as to how much I golf.
If you have never golfed, here’s the gist. You have a bunch of sticks of various lengths, with heads on top of them of various sizes and angles. With those sticks you are to hit a tiny ball, (under two inches in diameter) at various distances and angles to a well-manicured grass area called the “green”. Positioned somewhere on this green, which is often sloped in one or more direction, is a hole or cup that is less than four times the diameter of the ball. With the shortest stick in the bag you must determine the slope of the green and the speed the ball will roll, in order to get it in the hole. Is it a challenging game? YES!
My gracious golf partners, Ray and Wilfred, tolerated me as I sliced and hooked my ball into trees and bushes. Some balls barely trickled off the tee and others shot high into the air about 15-20 yards in front of us. There were many holes I made in the ground that my club dug up and many balls were donated to the course. While at times there were glimpses of a golf game, it was mostly painful and as the day went on and I walked from one hole to the next, I got more exhausted and my game got worse, my focus lost and thoughts of calling it a day crossed my mind. You could say my pursuit of “holeyness” was not up to par.
In reflection of this day, my golf game is probably better than my pursuit of holiness as a follower of Christ. If you can imagine life as a golf course and all along the way we move from one hole to the next, I have not scored so well. Time and again I end up in the bushes, stuck in sand traps and drowning in water hazards. The pursuit of holiness is not too far off from golf and it’s about as easy to live a holy life as it is to nail a 1 inch ball into a 3 inch cup from 400 yards away. Why live a holy life, why pursue holiness? Just as the Lord called to the Jews in Leviticus 20:26, I believe through Jesus Christ He says the same to all believers today, “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.” The Lord wants us to be His! Our Creator is calling for us to live a holy life, which is a life that is consecrated and honoring to Him. Our pursuit of holiness is our external expression of our belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Word made flesh.
The wonder of it all is that while none of us attain holiness on our own efforts, we are holy because we are sanctified by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God of all creation brought all things into being through his Word, His mighty Word. Imagine your Word being so powerful it is in itself an entity. Laws were given, commands spoken, people provided for guidance and only by the blood of Jesus are we atoned from our sins, justified of our lack of holiness and sanctified from our imperfection. Like the amazing handicap I received in my round of golf that made me look way better than I really am, even greater still is the handicap of the grace of God.
If today you find yourself defeated by your inabilities, overcome by imperfections or exhausted from the pursuit of holiness, you have not fully experienced the grace of God. We are people of holeyness and only find holiness through the grace of God. Don’t stop your pursuit of holiness, but don’t be fooled to think that you will get there on your own regard. Only through your belief and commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will you ever be sanctified. -jason