A local pastor was invited to a country club to play with a group of very wealthy business men. He was not invited because he was a pastor. In fact, the business men didn’t know he was a “man of the cloth”. He was invited to play simply because he was a good golfer. And good golfers like other good golfers.
Being a good golfer and being a pastor has its advantages. Besides the countless sermon illustrations that can come from the game, pastors often find themselves in great conversations during a round of golf. This round proved to be one of those conversations.
On the third hole the business men started to realized thier fourth member was not only a good golfer but a great golfer. They had been chatting about the latest stock exchange news, business headlines, and swearing about all their bad shots when one of the business men finally asked the pastor, “What do you do for a living?”
The pastor knew all too well this was the question that had the ability to halt all conversation. What he did for a living was often met with one of two extremes, warm acceptance or dumbfounded silence. The pastor, however, didn’t shy away from a response and proclaimed, “I’m a pastor.”
“Hmm,” grunted the business man, “What does that mean, actually? What do you do all day?”
The pastor could tell this was going to be an interesting round as he teed up his ball for yet another 300-yard drive down the middle of the fairway. After the pastor hit his shot he turned and started to explain everything in life that gave him passion. He spoke about the Kingdom and the story of God. He talked about loving others and the mission of the Gospel. He spoke about discipleship and the idea of living for something greater than himself.
However, it was all insignificant to the wealthy business men who could not comprehend what the pastor was describing. They spent their days clamoring for the attention of others, playing to the audience of the masses, and concerned with gaining personal wealth. The pastor got three odd looks and the conversation went silent. The three wealthy business men were impressed by the pastor’s golf game, but nothing more.
Still in silence, each of them landed their drive in the fairway of the sharp dog leg left seventh hole. As they approached their balls they came around the bend to see the most extravagant, exquisite, all-the-bells-and-whistles mansion sitting high on the hill beside the green. All four of them stopped and gazed upon the massive house in all its glory. One of the business men turned to the pastor and said, “Well pastor, you’re never gonna have anything like that.”
Without missing a beat the pastor replied, “Yeah you’re right. I’ve got my eyes on something bigger.”
Pulling their eyes away from the beautiful mansion, each of the business men stared at the pastor who said, “Have you ever seen a sunset or the Rocky Mountains? Have you ever seen the stars on a cloudless night? That mansion is beautiful and attractive, yes, and I wouldn’t mind living there for sure. But that was made by the hands of mere men. I’ve got my eyes on something that is infinitely more splendid than any man could make. I believe that what God has created for me is quite a bit bigger than that mansion. Quite a bit bigger indeed.”
Their puzzled looks and haughty grunts said it all. The pastor was fine with the business men not understanding what he had described becuase he too has a hard time believing in the reality of the unseen, the kingdom that is here, but not yet. One last look at the mansion before hitting his apporach shot, the pastor sighed in relief that he has the freedom to pass on the pursuits of this world.
The pastor looked at the wealthy business men and smiled. At that moment he knew that he too was wealthy, for his investment was in an eternal currency where moth and rust do not destroy.