RHYTHM: Yeah, Shut Up – 2 Kings 2

Lectionary for Youth Ministry 2 Kings 2Saturday before Proper 8: 2 Kings 2:3-5

Reading: 2 Kings 2:3-5

Yeah, Shut Up

A buddy of mine is a golf pro at a local, private course in the Chattanooga area. I was able to caddie for him in a number of events over a few years. It sounded like great fun at the inception of the idea; hang out with Richard for a few hours, carry the clubs, high five after good shots.

It may not be obvious on TV, but there’s a lot going on in the relationship between the golfer and the caddie. It’s unique in relationships, because at times the caddie is a friend, at times a counselor, at times an advisor, and other times probably an enemy. The key to being a good caddie, besides always being supportive and having good information about yardage and green slopes, is to know when to say a thing and when not to say a thing. I found this out the very first time I caddied for Richard. It was a qualifier for a larger tournament. Enough hadn’t gone well that conversation had pretty well ceased. He hit an approach shot that just missed the green and appeared to be in a right-side bunker. When we arrived at the ball, however, it was a foot outside of the bunker in the rough.

Being a novice golfer, I reflected, “At least you’re not in the bunker!” He replied tersely, “I’d rather have been in the bunker.” If you know what you’re doing, sand is often better than thick grass. But then, calamity. He miss-hit the ball, and chunked it two feet forward into the bunker. A victim of my own quick-wittedness: “Well, there you go,” I offered.

Over time I learned when it was OK to joke even more sharply about a bad shot and when I needed to be invisible after even a slight miss. Timing, they say, is everything. The prophets in 2 Kings 2 might have done well to spend a few days caddying for Elisha. “You know Elijah is going away today, right?”

“Yeah, shut up.”

For reflection:

When have you had bad news repeated to you at a bad time?

Have you ever put your foot in your mouth in a sensitive situation?


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