*Shooting My Age* (the asterisk is important!!)

– Derek, George, Rick, Todd

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
– Chicora Golf Club, Dunn NC

All my life I have loved playing games; pretty much anything that incorporates some kind of a ball. If the game involves hand eye coordination and some way to keep score, then I am all in.

Time, however – and especially things like soccer – has taken its toll, and my knees (along with various other joints) need a little TLC. This is one of the reasons I enjoy golf so much, because it’s a game where I can should be careful and play within the limits prescribed.

In golf there is a gold standard called “shooting your age.” It’s an almost impossible target because most players shoot 90-plus, and once anyone reaches 60 or so scores invariably go up. I am 67 and tend to score in the 80’s – so my best chance would be to improve over the next decade and hope the stars align one magical day when I’m in my late 70’s.

*Asterisk*

WE” *shot my age*

Yesterday, however – and this is where the ***ASTERISK*** (or several of them!) is so important – I played in a “Captain’s Choice” charity tournament and, with the help of George, Rick, and Todd, I shot my age!

Captain’s Choice is a format where:

  1. All four players hit a 1st shot
  2. All four hit the 2nd shot from where the best ball landed
  3. Repeat until the ball is in the hole

We had fun, of course, and because of the format there is little chance of one bad shot leading to a high score (four bad shots, however….)

The upshot was that our team scored 67. My age. Ergo, ***shooting my age*** with an asterisk or three!

– the 13th hole at Chicora

My Point:

My point here is that of the scripture in Ecclesiastes. We need each other! Anything I am, anything I contribute, anything I bring to the table as a human being is enhanced when I am in community.

I am – as we all know – an advocate for men’s ministry. I have written several books and spoken at dozens of conferences and retreats. But this is not just a great idea for church guys, it is a necessary truth for all human beings.

The idea of community is the foundational principle of our intention, our design, our creation, and our gifting into this world. We exist, in other words, for one another.

The most critical need in our nation – especially if we want to end this senseless violence – is for more inclusion, more community, more love, more grace, and less isolation.

Isolation – in fact, disassociation of any kind – is in my estimation the root cause of the majority of social breakdown, enmity, angst, crime, and violence in this world. The most critical need in our nation – especially if we want to end this senseless violence – is for more inclusion, more community, more love, more grace, and less isolation.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…

Hebrews 10:23-24

Looking forward one day to shooting my age for real, but blessed beyond measure to be able to do it now, but only with the support of my friends! – DEREK

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