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 with them simply because he was a good golfer.
(Its common thought that majority of pastors are good golfers. There probably has been a study on the correlation, but I would conclude that pastors are good golfers because they pray more.)
Being a good golfer and 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 realized the pastor was not only a good golfer he was 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 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 stunt 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? 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 right 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. But it was as if it was all insignificant to the wealthy business men who could not comprehend what the pastor was saying. 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.
“Have you ever seen a sunset or the Rocky Mountains? Have you ever seen the stars on cloudless night? That mansion is beautiful and attractive, yes, but that was made by the hands of mere men. I’ve got my eyes on something that is infinitely more splendid than anything men have made. I believe that what God has created for me is quite a bit bigger than that.”
The pastor was fine with the business men not understanding what he meant. He too has a hard time believing in the reality of the unseen and passing on the pursuits of the world.
He 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. He also knew that he, and these three business men, were the joy that was set before his Savior – a Savior who also passed on the mansions of this world.