“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21
I read a fascinating article by David Owen in Golf Digest not long ago. Through some thorough research and a little bit of speculation, Owen shares how the world’s most famous golf course, Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, would have differed if things had panned out the way its founders planned from the beginning. He points out the very name of the club and the tournament it hosts almost certainly wouldn’t be what we know today.
Here are a few highlights from Owen’s story in the April 2022 Masters Preview:
• Club founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts 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 for residences overlooking the course.
• Course designer Alister MacKenzie wanted a 90-yard 19th hole between the 18th green and No. 1 tee, primarily to give the loser an opportunity to win back his money.
We’d all agree 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 founders envisioned, despite some early setbacks that threatened its viability. What it has become never could have been designed or planned. As Garth Brooks sings, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”
Often, we get so upset when our plans don’t work out the way we foresee them. This leads us to question God, question ourselves, get frustrated and give up. But God’s will is not something to trifle with. His plans will be carried out, and they’re always for our benefit. You and I are his children, if we have put our faith in Jesus. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26 (NLT). Because we belong to him, he will take care of us. As Matthew wrote:
“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 is disrupted and redesigned into our own “Augusta National.”
Now, about those Masters tickets …
– C.A. Phillips serves as communications pastor and director of men’s groups at NorthStar Church. He oversees Over the Hump, a weekly online devotional. northstarchurch.org/lockerroom.