BN.com Gift Guide

Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It: Why We Suffer and How We Can Hope

Overview

During colonial times the British living in India tried to play golf, only to be frustrated by monkeys who disrupted the game by chasing the golf balls and creating chaos. The British tried erecting fences and posting guards to keep the monkeys back, but eventually decided to play the ball where the monkey dropped it -- as we often must do in life, to live as best we can with forces that are beyond our control.

Why must we suffer? Gregory Knox Jones tackles this enduring issue ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $2.50   
  • New (3) from $33.95   
  • Used (8) from $2.50   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$33.95
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(103)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New New condition. Signed by author. Free track! Fast shipping! Satisfaction guaranteed!

Ships from: Media, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$35.37
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$38.96
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(103)

Condition: New
New New condition. Free track! Fast shipping! Satisfication guaranteed!

Ships from: Media, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

During colonial times the British living in India tried to play golf, only to be frustrated by monkeys who disrupted the game by chasing the golf balls and creating chaos. The British tried erecting fences and posting guards to keep the monkeys back, but eventually decided to play the ball where the monkey dropped it -- as we often must do in life, to live as best we can with forces that are beyond our control.

Why must we suffer? Gregory Knox Jones tackles this enduring issue of life with clarity and intelligence, offering hope to anyone who is struggling with the pain and confusion of unjust suffering. Dr. Jones recounts the life stories he has seen in his work as a pastor: parents losing their child in a car accident, a runner coping with the amputation of his leg. Every day good people suffer, raising the question: Why is this so, if there is a just and all-powerful God? The response that God works in mysterious ways that are beyond human understanding simply isn't adequate in the face of such profound suffering. Dr. Jones, who has more than twenty years' experience in the parish, found that he had to rethink his ideas as he ministered to people in pain and grief. The wisdom that he gained enabled him to lead people through the most difficult circumstances to healing and new hope.

Now, in Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It, Jones gently guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional solutions to the problem of evil, offering practical and compassionate answers to the deepest questions rooted in the experience of everyday life. Notable for its relevant real-life examples and its clarity, this book offers guidance and solace to anyone who has ever wondered, "Why me?"

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688171421
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Gregory Knox Jones is a descendant of John Knox, who founded the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. He is pastor of Chester Presbyterian Church in Chester, Virginia. He and his wife have three grown children and a granddaughter.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Play the Ball
Where the Monkey Drops It



The story is told of a golf course in India. Apparently, once the English had colonized the country and established their businesses, they yearned for recreation and decided to build a golf course in Calcutta. Golf in Calcutta presented a unique obstacle. Monkeys would drop out of the trees, scurry across the course, and seize the golf balls. The monkeys would play with the balls, tossing them here and there.

At first, the golfers tried to control the monkeys. Their first strategy was to build high fences around the fairways and greens. This approach, which seemed initially to hold much promise, was abandoned when the golfers discovered that a fence is no challenge to an ambitious monkey. Next, the golfers tried luring the monkeys away from the course. But the monkeys found nothing as amusing as watching humans go wild whenever their little white balls were disturbed. In desperation, the British began trapping the monkeys. But for every monkey they carted off, another would appear. Finally, the golfers gave in to reality and developed a rather novel ground rule: Play the ball where the monkey drops it.

As you can imagine, playing this unique way could be maddening. A beautiful drive down the center of the fairway might be picked up by a monkey and then dropped in the rough. Or the opposite could happen. A hook or slice that had produced a miserable lie might be flung onto the fairway. It did not take long before the golfers realized that golf on this particular course was very similar to ourexperience of life. There are good breaks, and there are bad breaks. We cannot entirely control the outcome of the game.

Some mornings you climb out of bed and everything seems perfect. You pull on the right clothes, breakfast tastes delicious, and the children are pleasant. Driving to work, you hit all the green lights, hear an inspiring story on the radio, and accomplish more than anticipated at work, The monkey drops the ball a few inches from the cup.

Other days are not nearly as kind. These are the ones people generally remember (and usually share with others). Despite a packed closet, there seems to be nothing to wear. The only item in the refrigerator is a shriveled piece of fruit, and you are forced to go without breakfast.

You cannot find your car keys, but once you do, you're stopped by every red light on the way to work. Once you arrive, the computers go down. The monkey has tossed the ball from the green into a thicket.

Sometimes there are good breaks, and sometimes there are bad breaks. They are not all beyond our control. For the student who graduates from high school with exceptional grades, the opportunity to attend any college in the country is not simply a lucky break. For the student who graduates with poor grades, having few options is not simply a bad break. Discipline and good study habits make a difference. How we apply ourselves has an impact on our lives.

However, some of the breaks in life -- both good and bad -- are beyond our control. Loving families, miraculous medical cures, being born in a free and prosperous country -- these are some of the good breaks that simply happen.

Not long ago I experienced one of those marvelous days that make us especially mindful of the beauty and goodness of life. My morning began with visits to a couple of local hospitals. The first visit promised to be delightful because a young couple in our congregation had just given birth to their first child, a beautiful girl. The infant, Morgan Elizabeth, had been born into the world at 5:56 A.M., and less than an hour later her elated father called me with the exciting news. After finishing breakfast, I headed to the hospital, where I found the mom, dad, and grandparents gushing over their newborn -- a gorgeous, healthy baby girl. They were very much aware that they were blessed by the event, and I was even more aware of how blessed Morgan Elizabeth was to be born into such a loving and supportive family.

From that hospital room bursting with joy, thankfulness, and hope, I drove to another hospital in our area. As I traveled, I worried about what I would find at my second destination. A little seven-year-old girl in our church was undergoing surgery. Amanda's problem had developed very suddenly. Only two days earlier, the doctors had located the cause of her stomachaches and bleeding. Using one of the gifts of modern medicine, an ultrasound, the physicians had discovered a large mass the size of a softball on one of her ovaries. The doctors were uncertain whether it was benign or cancerous, and so surgery was scheduled quickly.

When I arrived at the hospital, I found a tense family in the waiting room. A nurse had already ventured out from the operating room to inform the family that the surgeon had taken a biopsy and sent it to the laboratory for testing. The physicians would wait to hear the news of the pathology report before closing the incision.

There was nothing for us to do but wait. Finally, after a very long time, a nurse came bounding out the doors with a jubilant smile lighting her face. "I have great news for you! The report came back, and it was benign. There's nothing to worry about -- Amanda will be fine."

It was a glorious way to begin a day. Two families in two hospitals, two marvelous events that produced tears of joy in our eyes. Some days are like that, and life is wonderful.

But we know that life is not always so. Life is not all beauty and goodness. Bad things also happen, and some of them can be devastating. These are not the bad breaks of hitting all the red lights when...

Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It. Copyright © by Gregory Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    Most life changing book I have read

    This book is sure to change your life, give you hope, make you laugh, and make you cry. Great gift for someone who is grieving.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    Spiritually Wonderful

    This book is by far one of the most uplifting books I have ever read. It takes the issue of spirituality and breaks it down so the modren man (and woman) can understand it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)