*Thunk*: the resounding sound that echoed in the closely knit pine tree forest.
My dad, brother, and I were playing an extremely ambitious disc golf course in the beautiful, quant town of Canmore, which finds itself nestled in the crook of the Canadian Rockies’ arm. Being the pros that we are in disc golf (*ahem, ahem*), we tackled the course with a large amount of zeal (perhaps to mask our lack of skill). I was proud of myself as I launched frisbees that went sailing smoothly (ish) past the tall, sweet-smelling obstacles that loomed on each side of the course. I was only a couple of points behind my dad and brother when we encountered… target/basket-thingie 13. (Cue ominous music!) The course itself looked easy enough, just about 100 meters straight and a hook around to the right. Heh heh heh. (That was the pine trees laughing at my folly, in case you couldn’t discern where the sarcastic laughter was coming from. For you see, at this particular course for target/basket-thingie 13, there happened to be deep sides that dropped dramatically into vortex-like ravines. Ah, yes. Well, I plunged gaily head, happy about the cool-ish mountain air that was dramatically creating the most welcome endorphins. And so I launched the frisbee into the air, with a flick of my wrist and a release of my hand in a fashion that any disc golfer would be proud of, and…
*Thunk*. My beautiful form and release of the bright green frisbee managed to cause it to go careening into one of those sweet-smelling menaces with a resounding *thunk, before it rolled down, down, down the steep ravine and circled the forest floor a few times, no doubt mocking it’s “expert” thrower.
And an extraordinary, monumentous, incredible, truly unique (at least for me) thing happened: I laughed. But you see, it wasn’t just any laugh. No, no. I laughed a long, genuinely amused, freeing laugh. The kind of laugh that flows out of you like a roaring waterfall that won’t be contained because there’s too much naturalness and joy in the overwhelming overflow. That was the kind of laugh that I laughed. When I recovered (somewhat), the energy of the laugh caused me to fairly skip down the ravine, gather my frisbee, summon all my expertise at throwing, and launch the green thing into the air, and…
*Thunk*. Would you believe it? My lovely aim sailed the frisbee over the ravine (yes!!), only to encounter yet another sweet-smelling menace. Cue the waterfall-like laughter. My dad was practically in hysterics and my brother was doubled over, he was laughing so hard. And me? I was down on my hands and knees in the dirt, for once in a long time not trying to understand and correct my mistake, but just enjoying the ridiculousness and, dare I say it? The sheer fun of messing up so badly.
Well, to make a long tale a tad shorter, let’s just say that happened, oh, about 4 times before I finally got anywhere near the target/basket-thingie for 13. When I actually did throw the frisbee into the goal, it sat there, most unceremoniously. My brother looked at me, looked at the score sheet and said, “Good thing for you, there’s a 10 throw max.”
So often in my life, I see my resounding *thunk*s and cringe at them, mentally beating myself up for not doing better. But today, on the unlikely setting of a disc golf course, I understood more about God’s grace for me than I have ever understood before. I can see now that there’s joy in experiencing God’s grace that comes in the rhythm of waterfall-like laughter after a good *thunk (or four!).