January 2, 2009

The 'Do Over' Shot

It was a typical day on the links during the 1920’s. The morning air was fresh and crisp as the sun began its work to dry out the yawning blades of grass. The men gathered at the first tee box of the St. Lambert Country Club in Montreal, Canada just as they did every Saturday morning. There was the usual small talk as each one began to swing their clubs in an effort to loosen up their bodies for the upcoming eighteen-hole game. One at a time, three of the four men drove their golf ball nicely out to the middle of the fairway. The fourth man, David, teed his ball up and began to align himself up with the number one fairway. He carefully calculated his practice swings to insure that the ball would land precisely where he desired in the fairway. He approached the ball, drew his club back and swiftly followed through with a mighty swing of his driver.

David had really pounded the ball. It traveled a much greater distance than the drives of his comrades; however, David’s ball did not come close to traveling in a straight line. Therefore, it did not land in the fairway as David had hoped. So, almost instinctively, David teed up a second ball and quickly drove his second tee shot right down the middle several yards further than he had even hoped for. As he reached down to pick up his tee he said to his partners, “that was my ‘correction shot’.” However, knowing David Mulligan the way his playing partners did, they preferred to name the shot after him. Now, many years later, golfers worldwide have benefited from the ‘do over shot’ that is referred to as a mulligan.

The Bible tells of a man named Simon Peter who understood the potential of a ‘do over shot’. When he was placed in a situation of denying Jesus or identifying with Him, he chose to deny that he even knew who Jesus was. It was definitely not Peter’s best shot. After the third crow from the rooster, Peter walked away leaving behind all his dreams, hopes and potential. He walked right back into his previous lifestyle believing that the game was over. Peter assumed that since he looked like a fisherman, sounded like a fisherman and smelled like a fisherman; then perhaps all he would ever have the potential to become was a fisherman. Wrong! Jesus offered Peter a ‘do over shot’. Perhaps the first mulligan ever recorded was granted to Peter. Not only was Peter restored and given a second chance, but he became a great apostle and leader to usher in the New Testament church.

As January 2009 rolls around we find that God has done it once again. He, in all His grace and mercy, has extended to each of us a mulligan—a ‘do over shot’. God is the master of the ‘do over’. No matter what you’ve done or where life has taken you, there is always an opportunity to use one of God’s mulligans to get your life back on track and to achieve your potential and reach your destiny. So select your club, tee up your ball and take your best shot now. It’s a fresh new year just waiting for you to stretch your potential, maximize your opportunity and do something of great value for the Kingdom of God.

Swing hard and aim straight!