The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National.
It felt more like the Garden of Eden to me. Lush terrain with green rolling fairways lined with a bounty of color only nature can provide. Add to that, pools of water to reflect the beauty, the perfection. My senses were filled to the brim of satisfaction. That is, until…
As we drew closer to the first hole, the clubhouse came into view. It looked like any clubhouse might look. It wasn’t grand. Nothing special. Simplistic by today’s standards. It was just a silly old clubhouse.
But then I saw the rope.
The blue rope that stretched around the perimeter of the building forbidding me entrance.
From behind the rope I looked on as the elite meandered in and out of the clubhouse or sipped on unnamed beverages while lounging in chairs nestled under large oaks.
Suddenly I thought of my great, great, great, great, great,…..x 100 grandmother, Eve. And the clubhouse, well, became one ginormous piece of forbidden fruit. And I wanted a bite!
I know you may think this ridiculous. I’m at the most prestigious sporting event in the world and I’m thinking about my ancestor Eve.
But I did.
I always wondered how she could have gotten us in so much trouble. But standing at this spot, on this perfect day, in the middle of my Eden, I understood!
I have to be honest with you. I’m not sure I would have wanted to go in the clubhouse if I didn’t know I couldn’t. But the fact that I couldn’t, made me want it all the more.
And here’s the thing, like Eve, I had a better deal on the other side of the garden, I mean golf course.
In our hands we held two tickets to paradise. (Actually 4 because there were 4 of us altogether, but I like the song Two Tickets To Paradise, and it sounded good.)
We had tickets to the Berckmans Place. A beautiful retreat on the other side of the of hole #5. Berckmans Place boasted 5 restaurants, where we could eat and drink to our hearts delight, anything and everything we wanted all day long. The tickets also allowed us entrance to The Putting Experience, which was right outside Berckmans. Here, caddies from Augusta National stood ready to show us how to make a proficient putt on exact replicas of the greens the pros were putting on just a few yards away.
With all this within my grasp, why would I want anything more?
Which takes me back to the clubhouse and causes me to ponder the question: Why did Eve want more? She lived in paradise. God’s perfect place of provision.
But, she did – want more.
She wanted more because she was tempted with what she thought she couldn’t have.
Aren’t we all?
If we would for one minute, unclench our fists to see all God has already provided and whisper a prayer of thanks, I’m willing to bet we’d invite a lot less trouble into our lives.
What do you think?
Not sure why this all came to me at the Masters, but if God sent me on this assignment to bring this analogy to you, I volunteer for the same assignment next year!
I’d like to thank our friends, Hugh and Glenda for an extraordinary experience.