Something tells me, this particular golf ball does NOT conform to USGA specifications.
Indeed, it’s the first such orb I’ve ever seen that sports a tail. And once I got over the shock of the encounter, my heart was quickly gladdened by the addition. A stabilizing appendage, it turns out – allowing the ball to be hurtled accurately from an air cannon, even at a range exceeding 200 yards.
So when using a Big Shot ball, recording a “greenie” becomes a rather simple matter: You just point the cannon and pull the trigger. Which is a lot more reliable (in my case, anyway) than the traditional method of wielding a golf club…to send a Titleist on its way toward the target.
Up to that point in Sunday’s round, my companions and I had been scrambling hard to score well at a charity golf tournament benefiting Annie’s Hope. But the Big Shot Challenge provided just the boost we needed to go under par once and for all.
It’s not “proper” golf, of course. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Still, it seemed somehow appropriate to be introduced to this stroke-saving marvel on the very Sunday when we encounter one of the most challenging parables in any of the Gospels – the story of the generous landowner.
Most folks I talk to are bemused (if not offended) by the tale Jesus tells – describing a guy who pays the “usual daily wage” to everyone on his crew: the ones who worked a full nine hours in the vineyard, as well as to those who worked only one — and everyone in between.
If you’re accustomed to earning your daily bread, the whole scenario seems patently unfair. We tend to bristle at the notion that somebody else might get a (relatively) free ride.
But then, what are we to make of the fact that Jesus says “the kingdom of heaven is like this…”?
At the very least, it seems to me, Jesus is extending an invitation for us to include “mystery” and “wonder” as key elements of our relationship with God. Perhaps we are being encouraged to consider this possibility, too: that we are not the Big Shots we so often believe ourselves to be.
And that we all depend on grace – every one of us – to keep our spiritual lives aligned and on target.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.