So I Got That Going For Me….
Bill Murray, played the character of Carl Spackler, a wacky groundskeeper at a golf resort in the 1980 movie, Caddyshack. In one memorable scene, he tells a story where he claims that he went to Tibet and caddied for the Dali Lama himself. At the end of the round, as he remembers it, the Dali Lama is going to stiff him by withholding the tip.
So Carl speaks up, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he (the Lama) replies, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.”
Carl finishes the story by saying, “So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”
I laughed hard at that line. The gag works on a lot of levels. First, the image of the Dali Lama playing golf is funny. Second, there is the high religious figure trying to wiggle out of the tip. But best of all is how Carl dryly deadpans his understatement of his cosmic blessing; ‘which,’ he comments, ‘is nice.’
Carl doesn’t know what he has. Or he doesn’t really believe it. Isn’t that the way Christians are? Isn’t this way I am? C.S. Lewis wrote that, “We are far too easily pleased (read that satisfied).” He writes,
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The Weight of Glory
We look to God for a ‘tip.’ We want Him to remember us at the end of the round and compensate us for, you know, the effort. But the gospel isn’t about our effort or about getting a little something for it. The Good News is all about His effort. It is all about His redeeming death for us. It is all about His passion to make us heirs. The gospel isn’t a ‘tip,’ His offer to us is infinite joy.
Shall we go on making mud pies in the slum? Or shall we begin to seriously imagine what is meant by the offer of ‘living water springing up to eternal life’? How shall we live now – as ‘dearly loved children’ – given a new kind of life, a life that will outlast the slum and outshine the stars?
Christian, what do you have going for you? You have “…God’s free gift… eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. He works with both with individuals and couples, helping people confess their need and embrace their available choices to lead healthier lives. Roger also teaches and leads discussion groups and retreats applying the Gospel to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jean and they have seven children and nine grandchildren.