The Augusta National Golf Tournament, better known as The Masters, begins today. My hometown of Augusta, GA has been overtaken by golf fans from across the world.
But there are some who don’t care about the Green Jacket at all. If you’re one of them, you know it will be hard to get away from Masters chatter. You won’t be able to ignore the coverage on ESPN and CBS all weekend. Talk of Tiger Woods will surely take over your Twitter feed.
If however you simply can’t stand golf and need to know the trick to ignoring The Masters, I have the answer for you:
Live in Augusta.
For 358 days out of the year, if you live in Augusta, you will ignore the Masters.
If you’ve never been to Augusta and only seen The Masters on tv, you may not believe this. The Augusta National is arguably the most beautiful golf course in the world. The greens and hills are majestic, the azaleas and dogwood trees so vivid and iconic.
If you based your opinion of Augusta solely on The Augusta National, you would think we lived in the Garden of Eden.
In reality, the Augusta National is pretty easy to ignore. There are no signs heralding it. There is no gift shop open year round. It’s just plopped at the intersection of two normal roads in Augusta. It sits across from a Walgreens and an IHOP.
A green gate blocks every entrance to the course. The gate has no holes. If you had never heard of The Masters you would never even know there was a golf course behind the gate.
It’s really pretty easy to ignore the Augusta National. It seems so special during this week, but I drive by the course almost every day and completely forget it’s even there. Even when you’ve experienced the course (as I have a handful of times) you can forget just how special it is when you see so often.
It’s easy to ignore something you see everyday, even if it is incredibly beautiful. Those who have experienced the beauty of an intimate connection with God know this all too well.
The reason why we ignore God and The Masters is the same: sometimes they’re just too difficult to reach.
You can’t just walk up to the gate on Washington Road and buy Masters tickets. If you don’t happen to have tickets in your family’s bloodline, you must apply for them months in advance or pay exorbitant prices to scalpers along the Augusta streets. The beauty of the Augusta National is magnificent, but it sure can be a pain to go see it.
Getting close to God can be a real hassle too. Seeking the beauty of God is work – time consuming, challenging, draining work.
You may read the Bible one night in rapturous attention. You may have a transcendent prayer experience. You may hear a life-changing message at your church service.
Your life may be temporarily transformed by the beauty of God. You say you’ll return to this beauty on a regular basis.
Then you forget.
We all do it. We let our commitments slide. We drive by the church everyday numb to the experience we once had. We forget just how powerful the word of God is. We pass time on our iPhone instead of in prayer.
We become the seeds sown along the path in Matthew 13, once blooming and now wilting.
The beautiful thing is you don’t need a ticket to get back to God’s beauty. You can walk right back in the gates whenever you’re ready to. God will be right there, welcoming you with open arms and a love greater than a $1.50 pimento cheese sandwich.
Don’t fall for the trick today, the trick telling you God is too difficult to reach. Make the time for Him, and the reward for your sacrifice will be unparalleled by anything else you could spend your time on.
Don’t make the mistake of the people who ignore The Masters. D0n’t take the beauty of God for granted.
How have you been ignoring God of late? What sort of tricks do you use to make sure you don’t take God for granted?
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