Domaine de Falgos is an 18-hole golf course set 1,100 metres up in the French foothills of the Pyrenees. It is surrounded by breath-taking views of the Pyrenees, often still snow-capped in late Spring, and one can also see as far as the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Being in the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable. However, on a warm, sunny day, apart from “the golf spoiling a good walk”, this is probably the most stunning location for a golf course I have seen.
As with most sports, to transition from unconsciously incompetent, through consciously incompetent, to unconsciously competent, takes input from experts and much practice on the part of the pupil. Just listening to a coach describe how to strike a golf ball well and then turning up to play a full 18-holes is very unlikely to yield much success and is guaranteed to test the patience of any golfers teeing off behind you! Committed, focussed practicing of all the coach has said and demonstrated is essential preparation before tackling that full-on golf course.
We were reminded on Sunday about the importance of putting the words of Jesus into practice. Just listening to them changes nothing. Matthew 7: 24-27 says “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Both “house builders” in Jesus’ analogy had heard His teaching, but only one had chosen to act on it, to intentionally put it into practice and allow it to change the way he lived his life. The result was the foundation of his life was solid; able to cope when the inevitable challenges of everyday life struck.
For me to make par on all 18 holes at Domaine de Falgos is an unrealistic goal, however, more importantly, I can make sure my life has a solid foundation by listening to the words of Jesus and putting them into practice.