Thursday, 29 April 2010

Golf is good for my soul...

I heard on the grapevine that to be a New Frontiers Pastor you have to either play golf or be bald. I decided to take up golf.

Why golf?

My main motivation for playing golf is to spend time talking to and learning from people outside of the Church. I love to hear the stories of others and their experiences to help shape my thinking and teaching. This continues to be my main motivation. Both my Mum and Dad play golf and I have particularly enjoyed playing with them recently. I have also had some good times playing with friends inside and outside of the church.

Here are my reasons to play golf:
1) Meet with those in my city who I want to connect with.
2) Spend time with friends and family.
3) Have leisure in my life.

Current progress

I have now had nearly ten lessons. I have bought a membership I'm getting 9holes in at least once a week. As a former professional sportsman I myself had high expectations and others around me continue to tell me that I will be good. I am not good. I'm getting worse.

I cannot play this game without a lot of help. I keep booking more lessons and I am still not good. I had taken my driver out of my bag to remove temptation and focus on the basic shots. Today I have taken all the woods out of my bag. Back to basics I go.

I am very frustrated. My talent is limited and so is my time so I expect I will continue to not be very good. Last night I even resorted to getting my wife to film my swing in the garden to try to sort myself out. It just made me worse.

Result

I have been humbled. CJ Mahaney writes In his book Humility, "Play as much golf as you can." (When you aren't exploring the attributes of God, the doctrines of grace, and the doctrine of sin.) He writes, "Yep, golf. In my athletic experience, I don't think there is a more difficult or humbling sport. Rather make that humiliating - because if you play it at all, you know all about those shots that result in laughter from your partner and humiliation for you."

I have scuffed off the tee, missed the ball, landed in sand and water. I particularly enjoy scuffing the ball in front of the club house or at the first tee with the people behind you watching. :-) I did not think it was possible to slice the ball as many times in a row as I have done.

It is with a renewed sense of humility and limitation with which I leave the golf course every week. I am committed to keep trying. I am convinced that it will help my walk with God in every way, but it is very very frustrating right now. My pride is being eroded. Praise God.

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