We’re standing around enjoying our sodas when God casually asks, “You know who I can’t wait to play a round of golf with?”
I peek around looking for someone while thinking, “I’m not too sure, but I bet they can —wait that is.”
He takes a sip from his Shasta, then answers his own question.
“John Daly. I like his style.”
“That would be fun. The way he’s been living, you might not have to wait long.”
Curiously, He asks, “What do you mean?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Forget about it.”
“Every day I check with the pro shop to see if he made it. The best I can do is hope and wait. I have a pair of plaid slacks just like his.”
Pointing to a golf cart beside the clubhouse, He says, “We reserved a spot just for him and left it parked and ready just in case he arrives. Look over there. See the name plaque? John D. I had it hand-lettered in gold, and not that cheap stuff either.”
“Good planning, and a very nice sign.”
I had noticed the cart earlier. It included cigarettes and a six-pack.
“I thought those things weren’t allowed.”
“Usually they’re not but playing with John wouldn’t seem right without them. I guess it’s for the ambiance. They’re more like decorations.”
“You’re right. It wouldn’t be the same without a smoke and a cold brew when he plays.”
He walks over to the golf cart.
“You mentioned something about ‘how he’d been living.’ I haven’t kept up. Is John doing alright these days?”
“He’s been playing some impressive golf lately.”
He solemnly utters, “That’s nice.”
I pick up a collapsing training club that stays rigid when used correctly and falls apart at its joints when not. I’d never seen one before. It clangs and clatters with every move I make trying to figure out what it does.
In a huff, He says, “Excuse me,” then reaches over and tries to snatch it from me. I jerk it back out of His reach.
“Please put that away and listen to me.”
I cradle the little device like a newborn out of His grasp, and say, “OK, I’m listening.”
God leans in close and asks, “How’s he doing?”
It finally occurs to me God is wondering about his health.
I turn away for a second, so He snatches the little device away from me and starts messing with it the same way I did.
“I’m checking with security to find out how this little annoying thing got in here.”
He rattles and shakes it in a bit of a fit.
I could hear Him say to Himself, “You would think that I could figure this thing out.”
God stops messing with the contraption, looks me square in the eyes and asks, “Well?”
“I read that he’s cut way back on his smoking and drinking.”
God turns away, tossing the apparatus into a nearby trashcan.
“You could have gone all day long without telling me that depressing news.”
I chug the rest of my Shasta, toss the empty into the same trash can and retrieve the little gadget. At once it turns into a snake and strikes at me. In a panic, both my arms start flailing about, and the snake is flying all over the place in unison with the flailing, all the while wrapping itself in a tight grip around my arm. During this melee, I kept the beast at arms’ length and hold a tight grip with both hands while it continues its hissing and attempted strikes. I look like a crazed snake handler! I free myself from the reptile and throw it back into the trashcan. God is laughing hysterically as I carefully inspect myself for snake bites. Still shaking, my sarcasm comes through loud and clear.
“Ha, ha, ha, very amusing, Frank.”
He regains His composure, but still laughing, God says, “I can’t figure out what it does, but now I know what it is!”
The monster crawls out of the trashcan and slithers away. God bursts out laughing again.
We make our way over to JD’s cart and take our seats. He sits in the driver’s seat, and I plop on the passenger’s side. For a few seconds, God lightly taps the top of one of the beers with a pencil, pinging it with each tap. Getting into the flow, He speeds up the tapping, turning the subtle pinging into a snare drum solo. He stops then stares out into the distance.
He turns to me and says, “You know, I could move things along a little quicker if I wanted.”
He turns away and continues to stare. In an instant, His voice turns into an irritated, elevated pitch, and again, looks right at me.
“You mean to tell me he doesn’t even have a cold?”
“Nope, not even a sniffle. According to the papers, he’s as fit as a fiddle and stronger than an ox.”
Quietly God says, “We’ll see about that.”
He continues to gaze at an open field.
“Someday… someday. Perhaps I should practice what I preach and be patient.”
I place my hand on His shoulder and offer some support.
“There, there, it’ll be alright. If we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
“I was wondering when those words were going to come back to haunt me.”
Then He perks up. “By the way, very impressive. Romans 8:25, I do believe. Am I right?”
“Not a clue. I read it on the back of the scorecard. You’re not going to turn me into a toad or something, are you?”
“Don’t push it, Mister.”