Wednesday, July 05, 2006

GOLF & CHRISTIAN MEDIOCRITY

Back in high school I was the MVP of the golf team for 3 years. During that time I would golf regularly. Actually, I would hit about 500 balls on the range and play close to 18 5 days a week. I was 3 strokes off of the "full-ride" scholarship cut in the city tournament. The top-10 are given a full-ride to the State Universities. While I was ranked 6th in the city (3 of the top 5 golfers in the state were from my hometown that year) I shot 7 over on the last 3 holes to take 13th out of close to 100 players. After the first double-bogie I thought I was out of the running and just gave up hope. Turns out, I could have bogied the next two holes and still made the "full-ride" cut. If I would have pulled myself together and played "poor" golf (for me) I could have attended the University of Michigan or Michigan State and played on their golf team. History played out differently.

Since then golf has been more of a burden than a pleasure. Maybe this is not all that odd? For a few years after high school I golfed just over "scratch" but those days have been long gone. Now I am lucky to get away with a low 40's (3 or 4 over par on 9 holes). With every passing year I get to play less and less and my scores keep getting higher and higher.

While I was playing today I began to think about Christian mediocrity. For some time I have been frustrated with the low level of expectation that Christians have. From Church unity to politics, from business to art it seems that Christians are satisfied with mediocrity. At times it seems that we are not only satisfied with it but go so far as to praise it as if it were in fact excellent! We insist on secular politicians who give lip-service to hot-button conservative issues, put up with denominationalism run amok, and think highly of movies like Left Behind and Bells of Innocence (I am left wondering what else Church Norris had in mind when he chose to act in this movie other than to make it very clear to the world that his film career had come crashing to a pathetic end). Why we jumped off the excellence band-wagon is beyond me but there is no doubt that Christendom has been B-rated for some time.

When I double-bogied on that one hole I allowed that to determine the excellence of my next performance. When you think that there is no hope you have little initiative to do better than you did prior to the double-bogie. The old maxim of "why shine brass on a sinking ship" is all too relevant here. Worldviews matter. Eschatology matters! If we could see the forest for the trees and realize that our mediocrity and apathy is the cause of the ship sinking we may just have what it takes to lift out heads high and fight hard for the full-ride.

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