When you’re a really good golfer, you pretty much know where each shot is going to land. When you’re a twice-a-month duffer like me, every shot is an adventure. Know what golf in hell is going to be like? Absolutely the same. No difference at all.
When you don’t play consistently, you can start improving on one aspect of your game and think you’re making progress, but then the next time you’re out some other aspect starts falling apart. Just when you get your pitching wedge under control, your drives start straying into the next fairway. Just when you finally are hitting your long irons straight, you start shanking putts.
I am indebted to singer Nichole Nordeman for an insight into the way our lives are constantly unraveling. She commented between songs at a concert I attended that she was weary of Christian testimonies where the speaker always told stories with happy endings, where his life just got better and better. She then kept her word and told some stories of her own failures in life.
I have only respect and admiration for people whose lives of sanctified living just get better and better. Good for you! God is great. Alas, my own spiritual life is more like my golf game. I resonate with St. Paul’s cry at the end of Romans 7: “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Straight talk. Real hope.