I got to play miniature golf for the first time with my friends a few weeks ago now, I’m in love with basketball but golf definitely now comes close after the day at the range.
The rules in miniature golf are quite straightforward. You have 8 hits to attempt getting the ball into the hole, the less tries you take, the higher your chances of winning. The carveat with miniature golf is that for every hit you take that the ball goes out of the designated course, you lose 2 other tries.
So this means that if you hit the ball twice and it goes out of the course twice, miniature golf says you’ve had 6 hits (rather than 2) and only 2 hits left. (Brutal, I know).
I was walking to work the other morning beating myself up about missing my evening prayers 2 days in a row and God whispered and said “please you’re not playing miniature golf”.
I was laughing without understanding and then it hit me. We don’t move back 2 steps because we’ve missed prayers once. We don’t have 8 tries to get it right with God.
God doesn’t punish your laziness or complacency by increasing the steps you fall backwards. You will suffer the consequences but God has not orchestrated a system that gives you only a certain number of tries and punishes you for each time you go out of Him.
If you like, sin and go to Australia from Lagos, wide open arms still await you without you losing any tries with Him. I know it’s hard to grasp, especially in a world where most good things are governed by time and chances. But God is gracious like that.
I realise it’s even games like this that make our spiritual journey hard because we see God through the lens of what we constantly expose ourselves to.
In miniature golf, you’ll often hear your friends call out “last chance”, alerting you that you have one more try to get the ball in the hole.
With Abba, you never hear that because His love keeps no record of wrong. But hey, that God doesn’t count tries or punish our hitting out of the course, might we continue to hit off course that His grace might abound?