Best Laid Plans
by C.A. Phillips
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)
I read a fascinating article recently in Golf Digest by a fantastic writer named David Owen. Through some thorough research, and a little bit of speculation, Owen shares how the world’s most famous golf course would have differed if things had panned out the way its founders planned from the very beginning. I’m referring to Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. However, as Owen points out, the very name of the club – and the tournament it hosts – almost certainly wouldn’t be what we know and have the privilege of experiencing today.
Here are just a few highlights from Owen’s story, which appears in the April 2022 Masters Preview:
- Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the founders of the club, originally wanted to call it Georgia National, not Augusta National
- They wanted two 18-hole golf courses, one for men and one for women
- There were lots earmarked throughout the development for residences overlooking the course
- Course designer Alister MacKenzie wanted a 90-yard 19th hole to be located between the 18th green and the No. 1 tee – primarily to give the loser of a golf match an opportunity to win his money back.
Needless to say, we’d all agree that Augusta National Golf Club has done quite well for itself over the last century. In fact, you could say it has far surpassed what the original founders envisioned, despite some very early setbacks which threatened its viability. What it has become could never have been designed or planned for. As Garth Brooks sings, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”
Often times we get so upset when our plans don’t work out the way we foresee them materializing. This leads us to question God, question ourselves, get frustrated, and give up. But, God’s will is not something to be trifled with. His plans will be carried out, and they are always for our benefit. You and I are His children if we have put our faith in Him. Because we belong to Him, we are told He will take care of us. Matthew recorded Jesus’ words, which talks plainly about this:
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT)
In the moment, we don’t see the detour as a gift. We see it as “less than” whatever we had in mind. But, thankfully, God knows more than we do. And, sometimes the “Georgia National” we spent all those years preparing for, God disrupts and redesigns into our own “Augusta National.
Now, about those Masters tickets…
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C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
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