Play The Ball Where The Monkey Drops It

I’m reblogging a sermon… not because I joined a church this past Sunday and paid extra special attention… not because the title is so damn intriguing… but because the reverend was able to whip up a Forrest Gump-ism from a dare.

As an exercise to ministers-in-training, our reverend challenged her class to come up with a sermon out of a random word. To prove it could be done, she partook, and had ‘golf’ as her word. After googling ‘golf’ for some material, she proceded to share one of the best sermons ever, to which I won’t come close to giving justice.

Once upon a time, the English Empire annexed India. Not one to arrive at a colonialization party empty-handed, the English brought golf. The Indians brought lush jungle. Lush Indian jungles brought monkeys. Lush Indian jungle monkeys brought a curiosity for round white objects that flew through the dense jungle air. Lush Indian jungle monkey curiosity brought frequent relocations to freshly fired golf shots. Sometimes the ball would land in the rough, and the monkeys would pick it up and drop it on the green. Sometimes it would land on the green, and the monkeys would pick it up and drop it in the rough. They tried to control the monkeys, but to no avail, so the English & Indians wrote them monkeys and their monkey-ball behaviour into the Book Of Life Golf: Play the ball where the monkey drops it.

I couldn’t make this up.

I mean, I COULD… but my flavour would fold in a vast right-swing conspiracy and a tasteless bastardization of a Gandhi quote, which would go:

First, you they are annoyed by how you bugger up their sporting events. Then, they ignore you. Then, they laugh at you. Then, they fight you. Then, you win.

And isn’t this life? Sometimes, you do all the right things (great shot!), and walk away with nothing to show for it (damn monkey!). Sometimes, you make a right mess of it (hooked it!), and somehow it turns out better than expected (good monkey!). Reality becomes the resultant vector of both what you can and can’t control, and all you can do, is, say it with me: Play the ball where the monkey drops it.

It’s a pretty Buddhist idea.

It’s also a pretty successful Disney song.