Tuesday, May 26, 2009

low-frustration golf


We played a golf course yesterday that had five tee boxes, each marked by a different color: gold, green, white, blue and black. From gold, the forward tees, the course plays at 5,188 yards. From the black tee box, what some call “the tips”, the distance is a much more challenging 7,186 yards.

As a golfer, you want to make a choice that is both challenging and fair. You want to stretch your abilities without being aggravated. After all, you're supposed to enjoy the day.

Now I am no Tiger Woods, and playing from the tips would have been a disaster. Moving up to the blue tees would be been easier, but breaking 100 from there is near-impossible for me. At 6,300 yards, however, the white tees gave me a chance to score better than 100… even 90 if everything fell into place. White tees made sense: it promised a challenge without the guaranteed frustration.

Now Michael played with us yesterday, too. He’s a much better golfer than I am, but he has not played much recently so he’s not as sharp. While he could have handled the blue or black distance in his prime, he too chose white for the same reason: it promised a challenge without the guaranteed frustration. Golf is supposed to be fun.

Lately, my walk with Christ has not been so much fun. I’ve been extremely frustrated in my behaviors, my choices – especially compared to where I was three years ago.

And it dawned on me. Maybe I’m playing from the wrong tee box.

A few years ago, I was closer to God. And by letting God into my life, with joy and consistency for several years, he did some amazing things. He could hit the ball long and far. And if his putts didn’t fall in, they came pretty close to the hole.

Then I stopped playing. My time with God became less frequent, less purposeful. And my “game” got rusty.

Then this day comes when you decide to get back in the game. So you pick up your clubs and head for “the tips” just like the old days. And your drive goes into the woods. Your recovery shot bounces off the fairway. The approach shot lands in the river. The chip flies over the green. And putting? The first one short, the second long and the third rims out. And if these golf terms don’t make sense to you, trust me that the frustration level is extremely high.

So you put down your sticks. Walk away. And a few weeks later you get the urge to try again… with the same results. And the frustration only increases. An endless cycle? Maybe not.

As a Christian, you want to make choices that are both challenging and fair. You want to stretch your abilities without being frustrated. You should enjoy your walk with Christ.

For me, that means spending more time with God. Being more purposeful in prayer and scripture. Giving up a little more control each day. Giving Jesus a chance to work through me. And knowing that this may not happen overnight...

In the interim, I’m going to move up to the forward tees. Play within my game. And start to have some fun again.

3 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

Maybe it is a bit like integrating golf into your life a bit more.. reading golf magazines.. watching the Golf channel.. getting lessons from pros.. then way you play maybe you will play better.

Of course you could just enjoy the game and not keep score.. although I have heard that the Pharisees always kept score :)

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿