Texts: Genesis 1:1-5, Mark 1:9-11
When I was in seventh grade I was your typical twelve or thirteen-year-old boy. I was self-conscious about the way I looked. I lacked in confidence and felt afraid much of the time. And I was struggling with feelings related to my newfound interest in girls, and the fact that those feelings were not being reciprocated by girls. In short, I didn’t like myself very much, and there were few places in my world where that wasn’t the case. Except one. The golf course. In seventh grade I was the number one golfer on my team. The next four guys behind me were all in eighth grade. This was the one place in my life I believed that I was good. Yet, in order to maintain that feeling, I had to prove it every Friday. Fridays were challenge day. On that day the person who was ranked below you could challenge you to a round of golf, and if he beat you, you switched places in the rankings. The number two golfer on our team was Tim Kilgore, my best friend. Tim was a wonderful athlete and could beat me in just about every sport, but he had not played as much golf as I had at that time, so I was a little ahead of him. Incidentally, he would go on to become a collegiate golfer and I couldn’t beat him now if I tied one hand behind his back. But back to Fridays. Each Friday Tim would challenge me. On a few occasions, he beat me. The effect that had on me was profound. For the next week, after Tim defeated me, I felt lost. The one place in my world where I believed I was good was shattered. I would mope around, and be very unpleasant, until the following Friday when I could re-challenge Tim. And when I won my number one position back, my feeling of value would return, at least on the golf course.