There once was a golfer who was experiencing a terrible slump. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to get his game back. He put in extra time at the driving range; he tried golf lessons. Nothing worked. Finally he heard about a psychiatrist in town who specialized in treating golfers and, thinking he had nothing else to lose, he made an appointment.
At his first visit, the psychiatrist made a radical suggestion. “I want you to go play a round of golf this weekend,” he said. “But this time I want you to use an imaginary ball. And I want you to see yourself returning to form. I want you to play one of the best games you’ve ever played, only do so in your mind.”
The golfer was desperate enough, so he determined to give it a try the next time he hit the links. It went splendidly. By the time he reached the 18th hole, he was 2 under par and headed for his best round ever. As luck would have it, the player in front of him was also playing without a ball. Turns out he had also gone to see the same psychiatrist. Since both of them were “playing” well, they agreed to play their final hole together and place a friendly wager on it.
The first golfer swung at his imaginary ball and announced that it had gone 280 yards right down the middle of the fairway. The second golfer matched his drive. The first fellow then took out his 5-iron and after swinging at his imaginary ball, he exclaimed, "Look at that shot! It went right over the pin and the reverse spin on it brought it right back into the hole! I win." "No you don't," said the second golfer. "You hit my ball."
What’s the moral of the story? It’s much easier to live by your own rules if you don’t have to face reality.
This morning we’re going hear the story of a man who’s convinced he has all the answers until he is confronted by reality. More precisely, he’s confronted by the real Jesus. And in a strange twist, this is the only instance we know of when a man is struck blind by Jesus. But then again, this all happens so that he can regain his sight later on. It all happens so that he can say the same thing as the man in our theme verse: “…One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
My prayer for you today is not that you be struck blind, but that you encounter a living and very real Jesus Christ.