(For those of you who don't care for golf, my apologies for this one :) ).
I saw the best golf shot I have ever seen today, and will likely ever see.
My son Noah, my grandson Jackson (age 4), and I played a round together at a local course. We had a great time on a beautiful fall day, and hit a lot of good shots (along with some stinkers!). Jackson is a natural golfer, and although too young to play a round, still was allowed to occasionally hit some balls. This he did with his usual golf skill and aplomb, and with jaw dropping results for a 4 year old (sounds like a bragging granddad, doesn't it?).
The all time "best golf shot" I reference happened on a hole where Noah hit his second shot over the green onto a cart path. The ball bounded to a spot behind a 15 foot pine tree, 50-60 yards from the green, which sat on a steep hill 10 feet above us. From where Noah stood, he could not actually see the green's surface because of the hill. His challenge involved hitting the ball over the tree, which was no more than 6-7 feet in front of him, and thus requiring him to get the ball very quickly up in the air. The surface of the green also sloped downward and away, so if Noah could somehow get the ball heading toward the green, there was seemingly no way it could have stopped once it landed. As he addressed the ball, I stood 15 yards or so to his left and waited to see the shot.
All I can say is that it was a thing of beauty that almost seemed to take place in slow motion. Noah somehow got the ball quickly in the air in order to navigate the pine tree. I was amazed enough by this, but then from my vantage point, I could see the very high trajectory of the ball carrying it perfectly above the green. It seemed almost to hover for a moment, and then dropped straight down.
Again, we could not see the green's surface because of the steep hill. I knew, however, that the shot had been so perfectly struck that Noah had somehow pulled off the impossible. I shouted to him, "This is going to be good!" Sure enough, I ran up the hill to the green and saw the ball sitting 6 inches from the pin. Unbelievable. There's just no way to hit that shot, and I honestly believe you could take Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to the spot where Noah stood, have them hit 100 balls, and never get one as close as Noah accomplished.
Ok, the bragging granddad is now the bragging dad. Which leads to the point I want to make in all this. I would not have been nearly as thrilled by the shot if I had hit it myself (which I could not have done). It was far more exciting to have witnessed my son hit the shot. All the parents reading this know exactly what I mean. There's something about our children's success and accomplishment that is far more blessed than our own, and I believe there to be a sublime reason for the joy we find in their achievements.
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
God has forever existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. "From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God... I am the Lord, I change not" (Psalm 90:2; Malachi 3:6). At the heart of such glory is simply this: "the Father loveth the Son" (John 3:35). Personally, I believe this to be the very essence of God's own reality and existence. It is also the very essence and reality of our own existence in the sense that this is who our Creator is, and we must know it in order to rightly relate to Him. "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God" (I John 4:15). Our salvation depends on faith in this most elemental truth, and the ongoing experience of that salvation proceeds from our growing knowledge and apprehension of the relationship between the Father and the Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
What we feel for our children are the glimmers and echoes deep within us of the eternally ancient glory of God's love that exists in His triune being. Such sensibility is beyond understanding and explanation, and even feeling seems inadequate to fully fathom the wonder of such devotion. Fathers and mothers, however, are aware that deep within our hearts there is something for our children so beautiful and affectionately committed to their well being that their blessedness is far more important than their own. This is God's communication to us of that love that can never be adequately conceptualized, the love of the eternal Father for His Son somehow glimpsed and intuitively apprehended in our love for our sons and daughters.
"Forever and ever the Father hath loved the Son, and the Son by the Spirit hath responded. Oh, the beauty of this glory is now living down deep inside us, and this is love... this is love" (From the song, "This Is Love").
I'll always remember Noah's miracle golf shot. I'll also try to remember that the way it made me feel was a glimpse of that which God the Father feels for His Son, and now for us as His trusting sons and daughters. Speaking of daughters, have I told you any of my Marie or Emmie stories? Well, there was this time...
"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:24-26).