Going to have me an Arnold Palmer for lunch today.
Arnie, I didn’t know you, but I knew about you. And I love an Arnold Palmer from Chick-fil-A, and I have been drinking them even before I knew the association with your name.
A whole lot of people in this world knew about you, were fans, knew your stats and sayings and even what you liked to drink. But out of all of those, there were probably only a few that were bold enough to call themselves your friend. And I bet there were even some that told other people you were their friend, but you never really knew them. I wonder how many people just wanted the honor and recognition and benefit of being associated with a name like “the king” of golf? I wonder how many you actually would think to yourself near the end of your life, “You know, _______________ was really a friend. He was always there with me through thick and thin.”
And Arnie, you might even wonder why I’m using your name now to share a message on the Internet when I didn’t really know you, when I wasn’t a friend. It’s because I see the parallels to the friends of another man, not the king of golf, but the King of Kings. Thinking about these parallels, I hope first and foremost that you had that friend who is always faithful and true and who never leaves us or forsakes us. And that ship has sailed for you. Your time is up and clearly this message is not for you. I hope that we who still have breath in these lungs know that friend, and that we don’t just know about Him, or just claim Him by name, but that we are friends, close with Him, enjoying His truth, His life, His way – that we are not deceived into not knowing Him, into just being a fan, or into denting Him in our lives even as we claim Him with our lying tongues.
Arnie, you have met that last breath, and your body will go back into the ground – dust returning to dust – just like our bodies will one day ourselves if the Lord delays His return.
I love an Arnold Palmer to drink. The sourness of the lemonade with the sweetness of the tea. That perfect combination of the right amounts of both is amazing. To me, it’s like the perfect combination of Truth and Love, the perfect combination of receiving the blinding light revealing what was still dark in our hearts, along with the salty tears and blood of mercy that washes the place clean where it has been cut out and cast away by that great sword of the Word of God. And I’m hungry and thirsty for more of that salt and light, for more of those healing waters, for more light shining through and for more darkness being overcome.
Come, have a drink with me. Don’t expect it to be so sickening sweet that you can’t bear it for long without finding the sugar has rotted your teeth – and don’t expect it to be so horribly sour that you can’t get it to go down at all. Let’s enjoy that drink made from a measure of both.