I did something yesterday that I don’t do often…I played golf. It was an early celebratory outing for my husband’s birthday. I’ll admit, I can drive the ball pretty good from time to time. On certain holes, my late grandfather who was an avid and skilled golfer would have been proud, yet on other holes he would have looked the other way in shame. I guess it’s safe to say, I’m not very consistent.
Every time I approached the tee yesterday and swung my driver, there was one goal in mind- to get the ball on the fairway, closer and closer to the ultimate end goal- the hole on the green. Like I said, sometimes it was beautiful- a clean crisp swing filling my ears with that awesome, whistling sound; oh yes this is when you know you’ve hit the ball well. At other times though, I would completely woof the ball and when I was done swinging I’d look down, only to see my ball still sitting there, staring right back at me. Even furthermore, sometimes contact would be made, but the ball would go in an entirely different direction than I intended it to, only to land in tall grass where it was lost forever, or in a deep sand dune where it was difficult to retrieve.
So why does any of this matter? Well, to be honest it really doesn’t. Chances are you who are reading this don’t really care about my golf game, and to be honest, I really don’t either. I play about once every two years and I’m not super competitive in nature. What you may care about though it what occurred to me on the golf course yesterday.
You see as we played our 18 holes, and on some holes I amazed my husband and then on others he said, “You should probably just pick up” as to not delay the golfers behind us too much, I realized something; that my attempt to keep on the fairway and reach that end goal, the flag and ultimately the hole, is very much like my faith walk and my desire to keep growing upward.
I’ll just be frank, sometimes it’s really easy to keep the faith and follow our calling to become more and more in the image of Christ. It feels good, looks good and has a simple ease to it. Comparatively speaking, it’s the clean crisp swing with the awesome whistle sound. Life is going our way, relationships are great, job is great, kids are great and we have no issue staying on our faith driven path, the fairway if you will.
And then there is the woofing of the ball, the tall grass and sand dunes of life. These are the times when the struggle is real. Nothing is working in our favor, and we can’t seem to stay on or even get on the fairway, no matter how hard we try. We really just want to pick up the ball and quit, and by this, I mean just quit whatever we are desperately trying to achieve. We feel stuck in the sand or completely lost and unseen in the tall grass. Our best game has quickly taken a turn for the worse.
So how exactly does this all pan out and where exactly am I going with all of this?? Well, I think it pans out this way- we are all on our own journey and we all have our own path. Sometimes it’s going to be easy to stay on this path and other times it’s going to be the fight of our life. Sometimes we’re going to feel so confident like I did yesterday when I drove about 185 yards, and then other times, we are going to feel completely defeated and lost like I did when I had lost my fourth ball in the tall grass. Yikes.
Ultimately, at the end of life we want to know we’ve played the best game we possibly could, and that we’ve finally gotten the hole in one, which is to become one with Christ when we take our last breath.
Yeah, this may be a stretch to compare a game of golf with the walk of faith, but if you start seeing God in all of the little things you do, you’re probably on the right track.
Be well and have faith.