Call Me Crazy
Have you ever made a decision that caused you to question your sanity? Call me crazy, but I’ve taken up golf. Again. My first attempt, years ago, did not last long. Doug has been passionate about golf for many years and from my vantage point is untouchably good at it. But even though he has those days, he endures. That one sweet shot, or hole or round will entice him enough to keep at it. I admire his fortitude.
When we relocated to Albuquerque seven years ago, while living in temporary housing we moved a pallet of un-needed stuff into storage — our winter clothing, bedding, ski equipment and my forlorn golf clubs. The very next morning we learned that our storage unit had been vandalized. Cleaned out. Nice.
A Brilliant Decision
Fortunately the storage unit was insured. Since my golf clubs were already a bit dusty from my lack-luster commitment, I spent the insurance money to buy a new bike. Sure why not? At the time it was a brilliant decision and I should have thanked the burglar.
Golf takes time. And time is a luxury I just didn’t have. When kids have flown the nest I reasoned, THEN I’ll try again. Even though I have a bird whose wings don’t quite work yet, I’ve felt the pang to reconsider it. With Doug committed to a second doctorate, his leisure time is even more precious. If I take up golf, maybe we’d have more time together.
My rationale is sound; my experience so far remains insane. After three frustrating weeks, someone asked me if I’m liking golf. “Hmmm”, I responded, “can’t say that I like it yet, but I no longer hate it and I guess that’s progress.”
The Side Benefit
I have however identified a curious side benefit. Golf is a cacophony of life lessons and an endless supply of writing material.
See what I did there? Tee Hee.
To minimize frustrations, a golf pro recommended I find a set of used clubs on Ebay instead of using my hodge-podge collection comprised of Doug’s leftovers and other kind friends.
I’m now the proud owner of a Ladies Tommy Armour Silver Scot golf club set. The price was right and advertised AS IS. The goofy head cover was included in lieu of the matching head cover that was lost. And the broken seven iron, from frustration the seller admitted, was replaced with a different model. In my zeal, I may have ignored some telling clues. But, for my purposes, the clubs are completely adequate. Of course, I’ll hold on to the fact that I still have AS-IS clubs and something to blame bad play on.
With all Faults, The Way it Is
AS IS… according to the dictionary, is an idiom that translates into “with all faults.” It’s a clause used to remind the acquirer that he accepts the item in its existing condition without modification or repair. The item comes the way it is.
A Loaded Term
Isn’t AS-IS a wonderfully loaded term. Think about something you acquired, AS-IS — maybe your first car, perhaps some estate sale jewelry, maybe even your husband. Ha.
In all seriousness, even though the term AS-IS is used when acquiring things… it’s a helpful concept to understand God’s grace.
The Golden Rule
Who grew up hearing the golden rule? “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It isn’t bad advice, but it also isn’t grace.
No wonder we struggle to understand grace. Grace is neither logical nor second nature. Conditional relationships are the reality of our time. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Consider this, God doesn’t require any back scratching. He chose you. You, with your missing, broken and ugly parts. Even though you try to clean things up on the outside, your facade is no different than a goofy head cover. The best you have to offer is AS-IS. In spite of that, God didn’t pay a bargain price either. To adopt you as His own, He paid the most sacrificial price imaginable, the death of His only son.
Romans 8:17 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.
Remarkably, there is nothing you can do to have God love you anymore, and there is nothing you can do to have God love you any less. Wrap your brain around that!
How can you appreciate God’s grace? For starters, admit how very AS-IS you are and realize that in spite of that, He loves you. Period.
Ephesians 3:18,19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
When you’re motivated by His audacious love, you’re able to trust Him to move in and and re-arrange your furniture. When welcomed, He throws away some things, and repurposes other things. God has His way with you and slowly makes His mark. Over time, grace transforms you and empowers you to be able to extend grace to others. Grace loves people, AS-IS. And when you love people given all their foibles, challenges, opinions, abrasiveness and idiosyncrasies, the watching world notices.
Pretend with me for a moment…
I’m a golf wizard and cannot miss a shot. My play is perfect, humbling even the tour players. Doug is in awe. I’m a golf god. I choose some AS-IS clubs to own. The clubs become mine and I care for them and love them. They yield to me completely as we spend time together daily. And because of my influence and the touch of my hand, a golf-god, the AS-IS clubs become priceless. Redeemed.
And so it is with you and with me. He redeems AS-IS sinners. We are not valuable because of what we do or who we are. We are valuable because of whose we are.
Next time you see me out there with my AS-IS clubs sporting the goofy head-cover know this… God loves me and has redeemed me. I am a daughter of the King. And while that truth may not improve my golf play, it’s all that really matters.