It was a hot afternoon on July 16, during a friendly round of disc golf with a friend on the South Campus of North Arkansas College.
While preaching a short sermon about the story of Jonah and how we shouldn’t run away from God, I stepped up to the tee pad on the 12th hole. I shut my mouth just long enough to take aim before sending my favorite disc gliding between all of the trees down a straight path toward the pin. As the disc went crashing into the basket for the first ace of my life, my hands flew up into the air in self-absorbed exaltation and my humility went crashing down to the ground.
After the high fives and fist bumps were over, the walk to the basket to retrieve my disc was full of amazement and excitement along with the weird feeling that maybe it was all an illusion. Maybe it just hit the chains and continued to fly on without me noticing. Maybe it wasn’t as special of a moment as I thought it was. Humility was beginning to creep back in my head.
Then I saw it! The red disc was lying in the basket for an eagle — or better yet — an ace!
Of course there had to be a picture taken.
Of course it had to be posted on social media for all of the world to see.
And of course, any ounce of humility that still existed in my head was deteriorating.
I even birdied the next hole which only stoked the fire of my ego.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I think Facebook is the work of the devil and should be abolished unto the uttermost and deepest darkest parts of the unknown, never to be seen again. That is, until I had an achievement that people were responding to on the evil site.
It took about 10 minutes before I realized what I was doing. My phone was buzzing because I had been “tagged” on something that was getting activity. Lots of people were congratulating and using the ridiculous emoji’s to react to my hole-in-one. I couldn’t stop looking at the post and nursing my pride to an unhealthy level.
Without a moment’s notice, obsession and self-indulgence took over my life.
I was like Jonah sitting on the hill after finally going to Ninevah. I was trying to make everything about me.
It was weird, I hardly ever look at that self-righteous promoting app on my phone. Yet here I was doing it over and over.
I had to make myself stop. Except for the short moment when I showed my wife the picture (she wasn’t impressed by the way) and bragged on myself, I haven’t looked at it again.
Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance is the definition of humility. I was not a shining example of that definition. Just because I overcame the odds and scored an ace in disc golf doesn’t mean that I’m any more important of a person. It means I got lucky.
C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
I’m still going to brag about the shot. I’m still going to be happy that it happened and I’m definitely going to try and do it again. If it ever happens again, I simply hope I jump up and down with excitement and then move on to the next hole as the same person I was beforehand.
If anybody can relate to the Facebook obsession that I experienced, I hope this helped.