I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I knew this time would come.

We lost Arnold Palmer this week. Arnold Palmer was a kind of constant in my life. Some of my earliest and most cherished memories are of lying next to my Dad across his bed watching golf on his little black and white TV on a Sunday afternoon. We always rooted for Arnie. “Go for it, Arnie! Charge!” As I grew up and Dad taught me to play golf, I imitated Arnie’s putting stance.

Over the years, one sports hero after another let me down with their personal failures, but Arnold Palmer remained the genuine article. I’m in my sixties now, and I’ve come to realize how remarkable it is to have a hero who never lets you down.

Sunday night I turned on the Golf Channel and listened well into the early morning hours as the commentators interviewed friends of the “The King” without commercial interruption. Everyone said the same thing: Arnold Palmer was a true gentleman. He always had time for you. He made sure to sign every autograph legibly. Even though he was one of the most well-known superstars on the planet, when you met him he made you feel like you were something special.

I think this is a glimpse into the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Somehow, Jesus is not too busy running the universe to have special relationship with us. If we let him, he will make us feel like we’re something special to him, because we are.

Jesus is the accessible hero who never lets us down. When our time comes, he’s the constant who will still be there.

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