Some years ago, my brother Steve and I went to the TPC at Sawgrass around the Jacksonville, Florida area, to watch the PGA Tour players. They were amazing. After one day though, we decided it would be better to play bad golf than to watch great golf. Thus, Steve called a course that he was familiar with, having lived in that area for a few years, and off we went. I don’t remember what hole it was except it was on the back nine, we pulled up to the tee box and I asked, “Hey, what is that?!” Steve responded way too calmly, “It’s an alligator.” Being raised in the suburbs and not the swamp, I then proceeded to drive on toward the next hole, thinking much like Bill Murray in “Space Jam” that under these conditions we should just take a par and play the next hole. Steve said, “Stop man! It’s no big deal, I will stand between you and the gator while you hit and you can do the same.” Let’s just say half of that equation happened. I hit and then quickly ran to the cart and said, “Brother you're on your own!”
Looking back over a good part of my life Steve stood between me and trouble often, whether on the school bus or at a football game I used the “Hey I’m Steve Griffith’s brother” card on more than one occasion. It seemed to always work. I am sure there were times he echoed the words of Cain from Genesis 4 “Am I my brother’s keeper” yet in so many ways he was. He set an example for all of us to live by. Steve epitomized the verse found in Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” I am so thankful for his care, instruction and encouragement over the years. I am sure many of you are as well.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Steve lived 54 years walking by faith and now he walks by sight, seeing the majesty of Christ and in the presence of those like Mom and Dad who went before him. I miss him dearly, it has been 7 months since that fateful night. It is easier than it was and the memories of a life well lived for others puts things into perspective. He stood in the gap for me and countless others, perhaps the lesson here is to live life loving God and loving others. Making as big of a splash as you can for the glory of the Kingdom. Thanks Steve for standing between me and sometimes myself, it made a difference.
Folks, join with me today as we make a difference in someone’s life. Just as long as it doesn’t involve an alligator!