1 Iron

1 Iron

I just heard today that a dear friend of mine, one with whom I have spent many hours playing golf, has cancer.

I was reminiscing a little, as fishermen and golfers are wont to do, about some of our experiences together.

As human beings we are witnesses together of each other’s more significant feats and life experiences. We witness birth, baptism, conversion, marriage, graduations, and yes, sickness, and eventual death. According to the Christian Bible, we will also be witnesses to each other’s eventual resurrection, no one of us to precede the other. My friend is Ray Willkie. I one time witnessed his 195 yard hole in one struck with a 3 iron on hole number 9 of the Tuscaloosa Country Club Golf Course. It cost me money too…. I recall I was $2.50 up on #9, according to our friendly wager. Then, suddenly, I was $97.50 down due to a standing $100 wager we had on the fellow competitor’s hole in one. He had to buy the drinks though…. 🙂 🙂

Another friend of mine, Jimmy Patton, witnessed one of my golfing accomplishments, a 120 yard hole in one with a Pitching Wedge on Hole #17 of the same course. Another hole in one I had was witnessed only by God, since I was playing alone. This reminds me of a golfing adage, “Only God can hit a 1 ion.” A 1 iron used to be my favorite club. Ray Willkie has been a witness some of my most memorable shots with a 1 iron. One time we were playing together at the old Tannehill course and I chose to lay up on hole #9, a 325 yard hole, with a 1 iron. Somehow I hit the club just right and my tee shot ended up nearly on the green. A 1 iron is difficult to hit correctly, especially the forged blade types of clubs that I play with. “Only God can hit a 1 iron,” it is said in golfing lore.

When one has serious problems, such as cancer, the tendency is to look to God for comfort and ultimate solutions. Only God can strike a 1 iron, and only God can strike to the heart of our some of our problems in life. Healing is one of those instances, where even with the assistance of modern medicine, ultimately, we must rest upon the promises of Divine healing. Even if Doctors and medicine can help in some way, for some period of time, and bring such things as Cancer into remission, ultimately, we must look to God for our resurrection to life, since no one has gotten out of our common human existence without dying first.

Witnesses…. The Apostles of the New Testament were witnesses to the life events and accomplishments of Jesus the Christ. They risked their lives to tell the stories of his feats. They witnessed Jesus’ resurrection to life and wrote of that resurrection in the Gospels… The Gospels are called Good News. They are Good News because there is hope for a life to come, beyond the pain and suffering we experience in this life. The Apostles were witnesses to the miraculous healings of Jesus. They were witnesses to his walking on water, feeding 5,000 with only a basket of bread and fish. They were witnesses to Jesus’ Divine love and healing for even his enemies. Why, one time, he even placed an ear back on a Roman soldier, his enemy, and healed him…  All these feats, and accomplishments of Jesus offer us far more hope for the future than sickness and eventual death can muster against us.

We will all face up to the Divine calling of Jesus, if not in this life, perhaps at our resurrection…. In my view, it is better to face up to and accept it while alive now. We should view this life as all our being in it together, both friends and enemies, as witnesses of each other’s life story and accomplishments. Perhaps one day we will realize we are all brothers and sisters, when we are all at peace with one another, and the world is at peace. I feel that is one of our callings, to be Peaceful witnesses…. We are not called to condemn, to hate, or to judge one another.  Those who are call themselves Christians are actually called to Peace, but not that many seem to know it yet.. They will know it…

Only God can hit a one iron…. Only God can provide healing… Only God can forgive sins and provide peace. Let us rest in this hope…

Love & Peace,

John Cooper
Tuscaloosa, AL

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

One Response to 1 Iron

  1. EGreat post! I dont think ive ever carried a one iron. Give me a fairwAy wood instead. Sorry for your recent loss but it did provide you a greta golf insight

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