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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, July 06, 2007

Humility on 15 acres

My intention - at some point this weekend - is to finally go play golf.... something I haven't gotten to yet this year. It gives me pause to think that spring is gone, summer is in full swing and autumn can be iffy when the course you normally play has a fair number of trees and the balls that go astray can be lost in the fallen leaves.

I started to play golf in 1999 - went bravely to Costco and, after an absurd interaction with the poor woman who was attempting to teach me to play golf, plunked down $125.00 plus tax in the hopes that this would be an activity I could actually participate in until well into my 80's. In hindsight, it is one of the best investments I have made on many, many levels.

Golf is not, by nature, a team sport.... it is your equipment, the weather, the course and you. This particular games is set apart from other sports... you can play competitively, or NOT. There is another major difference: bowling (another solo game) takes place in a bowling alley. All alleys are the same length and width and indoors. Even tennis - when you play with only one other person - the surface may be different.... but whether indoors or outdoors, the dimensions are exactly the same. All baseball diamonds are identical, as are most of the stadiums they are in. In contrast, each golf course (while often having similar obstacles (hazards) - ridges, sand traps, bodies of water, banks of trees) is different. Each and every one.

Walking the course you see wildlife, feel the breeze (or wind, rain, snow), go up and down hills. Some courses are absolutely beautiful - in Hawaii, Thailand, California, Arizona - the natural setting plays a part in the design of the course and the natural hazards available.

You may tee the ball off and it may head for a nearby fairway or right down the middle of the one you are on. Just a little adjustment in grip, angle, wind, humidity, makes a great difference to how high, long, straight, accurately the ball will take flight. You may have a good round, or the kind that can infuriate. You can start out confident and watch the elements bring your pride to its knees.

All this set up is to agree with other golfer/writer folks before me. Golf is an analogy for life. It's a challenge. We can barge through it stage by stage by brute strength (with obvious ugly results) or... despite how well we may be playing that particular day, notice the sky above, the grass below, the changing landscape. We can make a mistake and let that be the dead weight that leads to more mistakes OR dust off, make a few adjustments and try something else.

Humility is a by product lesson in golf. If we can learn it there it may be easier to take under other circumstances. We can learn to appreciate the skill of others and compliment them readily when they do well with a "great shot" or a pat on the back. We can empathize then another player's ball inexplicably circles the hole but never drops in with a corporate moan or "nice try" or "Geez, you were robbed!". "Good sportsmanship" has its parallel in praciticing our Christianity daily.

So.. to those who play golf and to those who do not, I sent out this hearty wish: Have a great round today, regardless of the conditions!


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