A novice golfer teed his ball up and took a swing, but hit an ant mound with his club head, completely missing the ball. Ants were scurrying everywhere when the man took another swing with the same result. Undeterred by previous failure, the wanna-be golfer took another huge swing at the ball, only to hit the ant mound for the third straight time. At this point one of the surviving ants looked at his friend and said, “It appears to me that if we are going to get out of this alive we need to get on the ball.”
We have a lot in common with those ants. Daily the “divots” of earthly existence are taking their toll. We watch as a friend loses their battle with cancer at a young age. We struggle ourselves with disease, disability, and discouragement. While some celebrate the reception of their stimulus checks, others are closing their businesses. People are no longer rational and reasonable in discussing issues, but emotion and physical aggression dominate. Gas prices have risen 50% and housing costs have increased by double digits, yet wages only increase about 3%.
If we are going to get out of this alive we need to “get on the ball!” Naturally we search for self-prescribed solutions. For us, the “ball” may be getting vaccinated or undergoing treatment, adjusting our investment strategy, relying more heavily upon government assistance, increased political involvement, or relocating.
At best, our answers provide physical and temporary relief for what is a spiritual and eternal problem. We long for both quality and quantity of life—a life filled with purpose and permanence. The “divots” that wreak havoc are the consequences of our fallen human condition. Our rebellion against God creates a separation (Isaiah 59:2) that means deterioration, destruction, and death are part of and perpetuated in our world (Genesis 3:7ff).
The only “ball” we can get on that will enable us to really live both now and for eternity is to turn from our self-directed life and to place our faith in Christ. Jesus put it plainly: “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40) Eternal life that has as its purpose to enjoy and exalt God in the fullness of His glory is a spiritual reality that begins the moment a person trusts Christ and never ends.
In our quest for purpose and permanence, Jesus invites us to “get on the ball” by believing in Him so we can truly live now and forever.