The True Spirit of America

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:19-21
view from tee-box

I am so glad that my favorite recreational activity is a “no-contact” sport. Well, other than contact with the sand, contact with the water hazard, contact with the woods, contact with the rough, and contact with “out of bounds.”

But seriously, golf puts me outside in the fresh air, with some great people, and all the while appropriately “distanced” from one another.

closing hole – dogleg around water

Then, once in a while, golf also affords the opportunity to do all of the above while at the same time supporting a worthwhile cause… and play at a venue otherwise inaccessible to somebody on a shoestring golf budget.

So Monday, along with some delightful company, I enjoyed the rare privilege of playing at the Prestonwood Country Club over in Cary. The event was a fundraiser for the local BSA (Boy Scouts of America) Occoneechee Council, and our foursome was sponsored by longtime scouting leader, volunteer, board member, and church friend Jim Crawford.

Blake, Todd, George, Derek – #17

Our group (Blake, Todd, George, and myself) had a blast. And, after taking a few holes to settle in, we actually played some really good golf. Not only that but my new driver, the one Rebekah got me for Father’s Day, seems to be working beautifully.

The event was one of those “Captain’s Choice” formats where absolutely everyone contributed a ton of important shots. We managed to put together a straight-up, unweighted, honest to goodness 31 on the back nine. Our round finished up with a huge, breaking, 60-foot-plus birdie putt that found the bottom of the cup on its last roll, and had four middle-aged men whooping and yelling like, well, a 60-foot birdie putt had just dropped!

And what a spectacular location! Pristine fairways and greens, stunning topography, beautiful landscaping, even an island green on the par-3 17th. I had determined not to take any photos and just concentrate on enjoying the game and the good company, but three holes before the end I finally broke down and grabbed some images. So I will share them below.

island green on #17

The bottom line here is that:

  • A) At times my life is completely overwhelmed by unmerited grace and privilege: I am so grateful.
  • B) I am blown away by the generosity and selflessness so many people demonstrate when it comes to how they put their resources to good use.
  • C) I am heartened when I see the fundamental goodness and public-spirited commitment of the good people who support organizations such as BSA.
  • D) This is America; who we are is better, and deeper, and more authentic, and more meaningful, and more enduring than politics.

Let me repeat that: This is America (not the golf course, but the generosity of spirit!); who we are is better, and deeper, and more generous, and more authentic, and more meaningful, and more enduring than politics. – DEREK

life Living Gratefully photography relationships

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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