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The Natural and the Supernatural

Moses, Jesus and a bearded little old man play golf.

Moses takes his club and with an elegant swing sends off the ball. It goes up in the air with a superb parabolic movement and falls directly... into the lake! Moses is not at all disturbed, he raises his club and at this moment the water opens up, leaving him a passage through which to make his next strike.

It is now the turn of Jesus. He takes his club and with perfect panache he sends the ball toward... the lake, where it falls on a large water lily. Unperturbed, Jesus starts to walk over the water to the ball, and from there he makes his next strike.

The little old man takes his club and, with a total lack of style as if he had never played golf in his life, he sends the ball flying off toward a tree. The ball rebounds on the trunk then again on a branch. From there, it falls on the roof of a house, rolls into the gutter, descends the drain-pipe, and falls into the sewer from where it is travels through a channel into... the lake. But after arriving in the lake it rebounds on a stone and bounces finally onto the bank where it stops. A large frog which was sitting just at that place swallows it. And suddenly, in the sky, a sparrow-hawk descends on the frog and grabs it, including of course, the ball. The bird flies above the golf course, and the frog, becoming giddy, ends up vomiting the ball... which falls perfectly in the hole!

Moses turns then to Jesus and says to him: "You know, I just hate playing with your father!"

Commentary by Serge Carfantan*
We notice that Moses and Jesus, to manage to place their ball, must make a miracle: to open the waters or to walk on the water. They thus call upon the supernatural to carry out the possible, to place the golf ball. Funnily enough, it is God (the little old man) who - even though he is hopelessly unskilled - manages by a series of coincidences to direct the ball so that it naturally goes where it must go. The least supernatural is God!

That can help us reflect a little. We need the supernatural to believe ("Go! Make us a miracle and we will have the faith!!") and we do not see the extraordinary natural deployment of the miracle of Life. Nature evolves and spreads naturally in a perpetual demonstration, but because it is natural, we do not pay we attention to this process.

Which is the truest viewpoint? To believe in the supernatural, with the mystery of beyond? Or to distinguish in the here-and-now, in nature, the presence of a creative intelligence - to be filled with wonder at that which is only natural?

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