Thursday, May 1, 2008

One Day



Monday morning, I left home and drove to north Houston to play in an annual charity golf event. I’ve played in this tournament several times and it’s always a huge field. This year, over 200 golfers attacked two different courses.

The game was a scramble format and for those of you wondering what the heck a scramble is: every player hits a ball from the tee, the group picks the best of those shots, then everyone hits from that chosen spot. You repeat this all the way into the hole. As you can imagine, the scores are usually pretty good when you’re playing the best shots from the group all day long.

It’s especially helpful if you have a guy who can really go long down the center of the fairway from the tee. We had such a guy in our group on Monday.

On the first tee, where we had all just met a few minutes before, I casually asked him, “So, you play a lot?” He nodded. “So,” I asked “Handicap . . . single digits I bet.” He humbly nodded and said, “Probably a two – I’ve been as low as a negative two.”

It would take a long time to explain what these numbers mean so I’ll just leave it at this – he was good. For the record, my handicap moves from a 12 to a 15. One pro friend of mine says I play like an 8 and think like a 20. That means my biggest enemy on the golf course is my own head!

I can’t count how many of these charity events I been a part of over the years. I used to go to every one of them with the dream of actually winning, but, truth be told, there’s a lot of, uh, cheating and little accountability at events like this. When you get a bunch of guys together having a good time but at the same time, wanting to beat the other guys, well, it just gets shady. So, I just go now to enjoy the game and the fellowship.

Our group won on Monday! Honestly!

We couldn’t miss. Everything was going our way. We all contributed and played as a team. At one tee box, one of the guys jokingly said, “Heck, this game is easy.” As soon as the words came out of his mouth, we all held our breath, knowing he’d violated the code and jinxed us for the rest of the day.

It was a beautiful, Chamber of Commerce kind of day in Houston. Perfect temperature, low humidity (yeah, it happens) with a comfortable, gentle breeze. I really had a great day.

The next day, I had lunch at my favorite Chinese place near my home. I don’t even order anymore – menu, ha! Sometimes, I think they start cooking my lunch before I come through the door.

At the end of my meal, on top of the check, there was the requisite fortune cookie. I always get a kick out of them but on this day, I got a message that I’d never seen in any fortune cookie in my life.

“Today is a disastrous day. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Huh?

What?

Ok, nobody takes fortune cookies seriously. But this one did make me think. If you did depend on the cookie for your daily dose of confidence, what would this do to you?

It made me realize how fragile I am. How unstable I can be in my faith – how up and down life can be.

How many days does one phone call or one email or letter completely change your frame of mind?

If the bank account is dwindling and you’re overcome with worry, one call with a job offer, an unexpected refund or some other windfall can take you from the pit of despair to a mountaintop.

After a medical exam, preceded by months of worry and anxiety, a good word from the doctor can relieve all kinds of stress (and it makes you wonder, “Why did I wait so long to get this checked out?”).

When a family member is ill, the ringing of a telephone can be terrifying.

You fill in the blanks.

Isn’t it interesting how easily we can be thrown off course and then put right again? In a way it makes me very sad and disappointed in myself that it happens so often. Where is my confidence? Where is my treasure? Where does my strength come from?

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121


And so I pray for me and those I love – that we will hold on to the One that is immovable, the One that never changes, the One that keeps pouring out grace and mercy without limit. This fragile planet with its peaks and valleys will ultimately surrender to the strength and assurance that I can find in none other than my God.

Wayne Watson / April 30, 2008

3 comments:

Debbie Downer said...

I agree with you and with heaven and receive this truth. Thank you for sharing and delivering God's promises.
Debbie

Harriet said...

Hi Wayne - I truly have the same problems thinking positively at times (a lot of times) - with the inheritance we just received, my first thought was "Well, now Dave will have money to bury me." Yuck, I hurriedly prayed that I would stop thinking about that and thank God for the blessing He had given us with the inheritance and in all that He has done for us.

We, too, just had Chinese food this week too and my message in the fortune cookie was "You will be a great leader." I have no idea what that means and don't care.

Satan is out there to steal our joy and we just have to be aware of it.

Harriet

Alan & Carol said...

Hello Wayne!
Sounds weird addressing you by your first name! Never in my life of 61 have I ever thought of interacting with anyone online, especially with a favorite singer of mine.
Thanks for reminding me of our great Keeper in Psalm 121. God keeps us in the present & will keep us in the future!
My present situation is this. I'm scheduled to sing twice in church on Mother's Day (May 11). I have chosen to present your old song "In Those Eyes" but could not locate an accompaniment for it anywhere. As a great favor, is there some way at all that you might be able to provide a copy for this special occasion?
Please let me know soon. We would truly appreciate it! Thanks a million in advance!
Sincerely,
Alan & Carol