Everyday Adventures: Hole in None

I once fell down trying to hit a golf ball. I’m not proud of it, but it happened. I needed P.E. credits in college and figured golf was an easy way to get them.  I was wrong.  Sure, my golf teacher wouldn’t have me out doing push ups and running laps, but the mental anguish of golf more than made up for it.  

Up to this point I’d never played golf that didn’t involve windmills and waterfalls. I don’t mean to brag, but I’d once hit a hole-in-one by bouncing my ball off the side of a pirate ship. Clearly, I’d already mastered the putter. How much harder could it be to throw in a few more clubs?

Up to this point I’d never played golf that didn’t involve windmills and waterfalls. I don’t mean to brag, but I’d once hit a hole-in-one by bouncing my ball off the side of a pirate ship. Clearly, I’d already mastered the putter. How much harder could it be to throw in a few more clubs?

Turns out it was a little bit harder. As in impossible. The day I took a dive was the culmination of weeks of frustration. After hours of instruction on the proper way to hold a club and hit the ball, I felt like I knew less than when I’d started.  

That particular morning we were practicing teeing off with our drivers.  If you don’t know anything about golf, that does not mean sipping Earl Grey with a chauffeur (see, I did learn something).  No, your driver is the big, wooden club you use to cover long distances, and teeing off is when you hit the ball at the beginning of a hole.  

Teed off also describes how I felt after trying to hit the ball in front of my entire class without even making contact.  I swung and missed.  If I’d been playing baseball, they would have called it a strike, but when you’re playing golf, they just call it looking dumb.  

It was time to try again.  Did I mention I was in front of my entire class?  To make matters worse, my teacher was offering advice on my form. Keep your head down. Bend your knees. Loosen your grip. With every word of advice, I could feel my anxiety rising, like steam in a pressure cooker that was about to blow.  

Yes, I’d swung and missed once, but now I was determined to launch that ball into orbit.  I was going to take everything I’d learned in the class, and every ounce of frustration over the game and channel it into one power-packed, amazing swing.

Yes, I’d swung and missed once, but now I was determined to launch that ball into orbit.  I was going to take everything I’d learned in the class, and every ounce of frustration over the game and channel it into one power-packed, amazing swing.

What I failed to notice, however, was that the morning grass was soaked with dew.  So, when I drew back my club and cut loose, I had no way to stop myself.  I spun around in a spectacular display of clumsiness and hit the ground. To add insult to injury, I could see the ball sitting about two inches from the tee. I don’t know if I actually grazed it or just knocked it off with the wind from my fall.  

Either way, there was only one thing I could do. I hopped up, stepped on the ball, squinted into the distance and said, “Anybody see how far it went?” Unfortunately, they had.  

Despite our best efforts, there are times in life we all fall down. Not just physically, but morally, spiritually, relationally, and the list goes on. Sometimes we fall in private moments.  Other times in full view of the world.

Despite our best efforts, there are times in life we all fall down. Not just physically, but morally, spiritually, relationally, and the list goes on. Sometimes we fall in private moments.  Other times in full view of the world. 

But thankfully we have a teacher with a big heart for people who fall. The Bible says, “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads” (Psalm 145:14, NLT). In fact, Jesus came to earth for this very reason. On the cross, He made a way for us to get back up time and time again. It’s called grace, and we don’t just need it for the past, but for every day of living.  

In some ways life is like the game of golf. It’s frustrating, complicated and just when we think we’re figuring it out, we blow it. But the good news is Jesus shot a perfect game, so we don’t have to.  Shame and regret don’t have to define our lives.  Instead we can be defined by love, first by receiving it and then by giving it away. •

Image Credit:  romakoma / shutterstock.com

Jason Byerly is a writer, pastor, husband and dad who loves the quirky surprises God sends his way every day. You can read more from Jason in his books Tales from the Leaf Pile and Holiday Road. You can catch up with Jason on his blog at www.jasonbyerly.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: