Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Like a Red Rag to a Bull (11/28/13)
By Jeff Lockshin
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Instinctively he clicked on the radio for some solace. The gentle worship music he heard gradually unruffled him. Soon the station broke for a commercial. The message Bill heard grabbed his un-diverted attention. “Whether you’re frustrated with your game or just need a tune-up, call now and give your golf game new life at Born Again Golf Academy.” Immediately Bill pulled out his cell and called the number given, setting up a lesson for the next day.
The Born Again Golf Academy was modestly situated on a large open field. Populated with the necessary trappings of a driving range it was a humble but functional facility. Bill arrived early for his lesson, secured his clubs and walked toward a weathered shack that appeared to serve as an office.
“Find us ok?” Bill heard a deep engaging voice from behind him.
He turned and was met by a tall middle aged man. Offering Bill a handshake, Joe Andrews the Academy head golf pro introduced himself. Andrews pointed and began walking towards the lesson area with Bill following. “Let’s talk for a while Bill. I like to know something about my students, their goals, interests, life style and such. Do you mind? “
“Not at all.”
After questions and some prayer Andrews posed a final query. “What exactly is it I can do for you?”
Bill replied. “My game is in the pit. I can’t seem to execute a decent shot anymore. I’m about ready to quit playing period.”
Andrews nodded his understanding. He placed a ball on the ground and pointed at a flagstick about 100 yards away. “Take a swing at this with your pitching wedge. Aim at the flag.”
Bill took his wedge, made a practice swing and hit the ball. It weakly flew well short and left of the flag. Bill dropped his head, “see what I mean.”
Unmoved by Bill’s effort Andrews explained, “You know golf is a target game. See the red flag out there. It’s like a bullfighters rag. In order to hit it you must align your body, mind and spirit with the target. It’s like our lives in Christ. Our body, mind and spirit must be aligned with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in order to live our lives on target. ”Without proper alignment we go astray, always missing the rag. “The Holy Spirit knows how to hit a perfect shot every time. You have been getting in the Holy Spirit’s way.”
Revelation began to settle over Bill. Andrews threw down another ball.
“Now, hit the flagstick.”
Bill swung. Both men watched the ball fly towards the flag and land within inches of it. Thrilled, Bill repeated his new swing with every club in his bag, hitting the appropriate targets each time.
Smiling, Andrews placed a sinewy hand on Bill’s head and prayed over him. “Combine alignment with love, joy, peace, and self control. Listen to the Holy Spirit and you will become a champion golfer. With that the lesson ended.
Bill inquired if he could schedule a follow up. Surprisingly, Andrews waved him off. “No Bill, this is the only lesson you’ll ever need.”
A week later Bill decided to stop by the academy. His ball striking was twice as good as it ever was and he wanted to thank Andrews again. At first he figured he had made a wrong turn on the way there, because to his bewilderment, the academy had vanished! No office, no hitting area, golf clubs or machinery was in sight. Just the open field remained. He called the academy number from his cell and learned it was no longer in service! Bill further tried several means to find Andrews and/or the academy, even calling the radio station from where he heard the commercial, to no avail.
Two years passed, Bill was now a regular on the professional golf tour and recognized as one of the purest ball strikers of all time. During the trophy presentation ceremony for his first United States Open Championship win, Bill offered the crowd his signature speech. “I give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to my longtime teacher Joe Andrews.”
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