I had a moment yesterday, but it’s rather difficult to explain.
Kind of like the Holy Trinity.
Many hours prior to my improbable moment on the golf course, I’d found myself in the company of some good and holy men – guys who gather weekly to break open the Sunday Mass readings, and ponder how God might be working in our lives.
So in a sense, perhaps I should have been expecting the unexpected yesterday – having begun my day examining the ineffable: Where is God working among us? And more to the point: Why would God bother engaging with us? What do we (in our brokenness) have to offer that might ever be of use the Most High?
Not that this is anything like an original set of questions. The Psalmist beat us to the punch, thousands of years ago:
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place
What [are humans] that you should be mindful of [them],
or the son of man that you should care for him?
You have made [us] little less than the angels, and crowned [us] with glory and honor.
Yes, the Creator has a wonderful capacity to fill our hearts with immensity and awe: All we need do is look to the heavens, and see. Yet even the expanse of the cosmos cannot contain who God is, because God is tiny, too. Incarnate. A human being, much like each one of us. God, in fact, becomes part of us – when we consume God in the Eucharist.
All this we know about God, and more: Consider, for example, how God is both generous and prudent in allowing us to come closer and learn more:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
No doubt, some part of me was still holding onto these mysteries, these promises, when I began my round at Boone Valley yesterday afternoon. As I’ve noted before, this place is a bit like “golf heaven” – and it tends to be way more course than I got game, even on my best days.
Yesterday, though, my “best” seemed as unreachable as the stars. Flubs and mis-hits characterized the vast majority of my shots throughout the afternoon…until I reached the majestic 18th.
And then, the improbable unfolded. I stroked my tee shot (with a driver, no less) to the left center of fairway…easily, the best I’d hit all day. But I know all too well that the second shot is the key to scoring on this hole. It’s visually intimidating, to say the least: a massive V-shaped green is protected on three sides by water. And yesterday, the pin was cut in the most remote position possible.
Amazingly, my semi-sculled 6-iron handily traversed all the danger and settled just off the green, about 40 feet from the flag. Two treacherous putts later, I was “in” – having carded my first-ever par on this magnificent beast of a finishing hole.
Some might scoff at the notion that this turn of events was any sort of blessing from on high. But the (inept) golfer in me knows the truth of the matter. I’d just been handed a parable – a way of understanding just a tad bit more about an impenetrable mystery. I’d stumbled upon a breath of salvation, in a place that (in some small way) resembles heaven.
And perhaps that’s not a bad way to spend our time on this feast of the Holy Trinity: looking, through eyes of faith, for the improbable God moments in our lives. Realizing just how we often find ourselves being invited into the adventure that is God. Discovering (and cherishing) the delight of being called daughters and sons of the Most High.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.