Recently, I was playing golf with some friends in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah. It has been pretty hot here in Southern California, so it was nice to get away and enjoy cooler temperatures in the Wasch Mountains in northern Utah.
The sky was blue and the hillsides were covered with pine and aspen trees. There were several sparkling mountain streams running through our golf course. It was a perfect setting for a round of golf with some old friends.
While our wives are out shopping, the husbands usually spend part of the day playing golf. Our wives think it is only fair that they get to spend the same amount of money on shopping as the men spend on golfing. This arrangement has worked out well for many years.
The men usually eat breakfast before heading to the golf course. Then we pack some snacks to take with us on the course. We are too old to carry heavy golf bags and walk 4-5 hours playing 18 holes, so we rent golf carts to help us get around. There are usually two golfers in each cart.
We load our golf bags on the carts and bring a few snacks with us, too. Sometimes we bring a bottle of water or purchase a soft drink at the snack bar to keep us hydrated on the course.
However, there are not only golfers on a golf course; there are small animals and critters living on the golf course too. In fact, we saw at least one deer each day we played.
Some of the full-time residents like squirrels and birds have learned that there is food on those golf carts. Often they will steal food when the golfers walk away to a tee box or putting green.
This year was no exception. While we were taking turns on the putting green, we discovered that a squirrel had climbed up into our cart and was searching for a granola bar or bag of peanuts. They knew exactly what they were doing and when to launch their raid on our goodies! It was clear that they had become skilled, professional thieves who knew exactly how and when to attack.
Fortunately, we noticed they were in our cart before they could do any damage. We chased them away and scolded them for trying to steal our snacks. However, there are a lot more critters than there are golfers on a golf course. This is their home territory. They know every tree and every hiding place on the golf course. They are permanent residents and we are only the visitors. They have home field advantage. We were at a distinct disadvantage.
Fortunately we were able to finish our round of golf without any loss of life or snacks. However, I must admit that we did leave a few goodies behind on the course to express our appreciation to the local residents for sharing their beautiful golf course with us.
Let me warn you the next time you go golfing, watch out for the local thieves and bandits on the course. If you are not careful, they will eat your lunch or steal cookies when you are not watching. But, you may want express your thanks to them by sharing a bite or two. You will be glad you did and they will too!
Pastor Mark Hopper
Efree Church of Diamond Bar
3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd
Sunday services: 9:00 & 10:45 Am