Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church
There are times when I would like to take a “Mulligan” in life. In case you are not familiar with a Mulligan it is term used in golf where if you hit a bad shot, you call a Mulligan and take the shot over without counting the stroke. The USGA Museum offers this account of the origin of the term, “A fellow by the name of David Mulligan frequented St. Lambert Country Club in Montreal, Quebec, during the 1920s. Mulligan let it rip off the tee one day, wasn’t happy with the results, re-teed, and hit again. According to the story, he called it a ‘correction shot,’ but his partners thought a better name was needed and dubbed it a Mulligan.
Given the number of golf courses in our area, I am thinking that poor Mr. Mulligan had no idea how many times his name could be invoked in one day!
Anyway back to my point, I would like to take a Mulligan in life sometimes, wouldn’t you? Like the time your wife said you should call a plumber and you replied, “I got this!” A Mulligan would have saved you thousands on that decision.
Perhaps the Mulligan would best be used when we say something in anger, only to regret it the moment the words leave our lips. Maybe when you have to explain how the thing you promised to never do again… well, you slipped up. If you could take a Mulligan and the feelings that were hurt, the relationships that were damaged, and lives that were ruined were all put back to the way they were, it would be great to take a Mulligan.
Unfortunately in life there are no Mulligans. Oh, you can apologize, make amends, seek forgiveness, but in the end the damage is done and cannot be undone. We don’t get a second chance at life, but we get unlimited chances with God. Read what God declared, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34b) Did you catch that last phrase? “…will remember their sins no more.” It is not that God is forgetful; on the contrary He is an all knowing God. No, He chooses not to remember our angry words, poor decisions, hate filled actions and the like. It is a true Mulligan with God. When we come to him, confess our wrong doings and ask for forgiveness, not only does He forgive, but He gives us a brand new start! Try and remind God of something that you have confessed to Him. He will give you a bewildered look and reply, “I am afraid I don’t know what you are talking about.” He chose not to remember it!
Yes, there are times in life I would like to take a Mulligan. Although I cannot undo my actions or words, it is comforting to know that there is our God who gives me unlimited Mulligans. He gives them to you as well.