Our God Allows Mulligans

As Presbyterians, we trace our roots back to Scotland and John Knox. It is also interesting to note the game of golf also originated in Scotland, sometime during the Middle Ages. Now I’m not going to suggest that God is a Presbyterian, nor will I say that God is a golfer. But I can say, without reservations that the Bible is full of stories of God letting us take mulligans. For those of you not familiar with the term:

A mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf.

I know our God of grace and forgiveness has allowed me to take more than my share of mulligans.


It’s early morning on New Year’s Day, as I write this, sitting in a Nashville Starbucks, pondering new beginnings, fresh starts, and mulligans. Throughout my life, I’ve taken a number of them, but there is no doubt that the biggest and most important mulligan in my life occurred several years following our son’s death. Suffice it to say, I’d hit bottom and was at a point the only thing left was to throw myself completely at God, to take the biggest and most important mulligan of my life. And when I did, God was waiting with open arms, no questions asked, no conditions. I don’t play golf anymore, but when I did, after we finished, when we would tally up final scores, we would tend to make a mental note of the mulligans we’d taken, and more importantly, the mulligans the rest of the golfers in our foursome had taken. But I don’t think God keeps those mental notes like we do.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

It’s a new year, a time for new beginnings. Melissa and I celebrate our 35th anniversary tomorrow, what once was a new beginning for us. And we are in the midst of another new beginning as we begin our mission to Zambia. Maybe you’re thinking about taking a mulligan in your life; do it, it’s ok.

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