We prayed portions of Psalm 103 at Mass on Friday morning, and I have to say, I was really feelin’ it…
You see, just about 13 hours earlier, I had put the finishing touches on a golf round that ranks as my personal best in our weekly league.
Not just this season…but the best score I’d carded in at least 15 years.
So yeah, I hope you’ll forgive me if I break out and sing a few lines from Psalm 103:
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
Now mind you: I have no illusions that my game –even on the good days – is anything to write home about.
Notice, for example, that I haven’t yet mentioned my actual score for yesterday’s 9-hole round.
That’s because I wound up six over par…carding a 42 on the par 36 course. There are more than a few guys in my league who’d consider that a lousy day at the office. So the fact that it’s a personal best serves to keep me humble about my skill level, to say the least.
Suffice it to say, I don’t play the game in order to acquire trophies. But why, then, do I keep going back to golf – a pastime I find virtually impossible to master?
Part of the answer, I think, is “redemption.” I was definitely feelin’ it last night…and I was reminded of the divine quality again this morning, in the words and wisdom of Psalm 103:
- The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
Golf, for me, isn’t just recreation. It’s a chance for re-creation, surrounded by the beauty of nature…and immersed in the camaraderie of friends. It’s (all too often) a reminder that I am flawed and utterly unworthy of admiration on my own merits. And yet, despite this brokenness, somehow the light breaks through.
And I consider myself blessed…deeply blessed…to be a witness.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.