GOLF & GOD (8): Relax! It’s Just a Game

golfer-angryWe live in a world that has largely forgotten how to play.  When our worth and value is measured primarily by what we DO for a living and how much we ACCOMPLISH individually, then just “wasting a day” in the pure enjoyment of a fun hobby or game is really a lost art and rare occurrence.

What did you do this past weekend?  If you are the typical American you likely spent your weekend away from your professional work catching up on other private work around the house.  Or you ran around with kids, going from activity to activity.  Did you take time to stop and just play?

God has designed the world and humanity to operate according to a bio-rhythm of 6 days of creative, productive work and then one day of “sabbath” or rest.  The sabbath is NOT a day to avoid activity period.  Rather, it is a day to pause all creative tasks and to instead involve oneself in the pure enjoyment of the blessings and joys that already exist.  Sabbath is a day for writers to enjoy reading books already written.  It is a day for car mechanics to take a lazy drive out into the country and enjoy the roar of a healthy engine.  It is a day for parents to take their focus off the non-stop, draining task of nurturing their children to just enjoy sharing the company of the children they have already become.

And, of course, the sabbath is also a great day for golf.

angrygolferThere is perhaps no greater annoyance on the golf course than playing with an irritated, angry golfer who’s constantly cursing under his breath (and out loud!).  Now, I’m as guilty as anyone.  We have all had our moments when we let ourselves get too serious over a missed putt or flubbed tee shot.  When each shot gets more and more anxiety inducing than fun.  Let me just remind us all once again that golf is a game to be enjoyed and a pastime to be shared with friends.  Its a game for breathing in the fresh air, taking in the scenery and awing over the beautiful landscape.  When golf becomes “work” and the fun is replaced by frustration, we have made golf something that it is not.  Golf is for fun.

In the same way, the life God created human beings to live was not meant to be merely one exhausting, tiresome series of tasks to be completed under ever-increasing pressure and upcoming deadlines.  We were not created to be beasts of burden, living like a team of oxen yoked to another man’s plow.  Most importantly, our worth and value as human beings was never, EVER meant to be tied to our jobs and careers, our efforts and accomplishments.  We have unsurpassable worth rooted in the God in whose image we were made.

We were created to join in God’s creative efforts of taking care of this earth — which involves creative, productive work for sure. But life is primarily a gift to be enjoyed with friends, filled with a 6-1 rhythm of work and rest, effort and enjoyment, becoming and simply being. We were created to play as much as we were created to produce and perform.

teign_golf_ppauk0071_1_large_imageDo you bring the pressure of your work week out with you on the golf course?  Do you treat a missed putt like a missed appointment?  Do you give your scorecard the same weight as your quarterly review?  Can I invite you to a change of mindset and invite you rediscover the pure fun and carefree enjoyment the game was always meant to bring?

Likewise, many of us need to bring the enjoyment we do experience playing the game of golf into the other areas of our lives where we have become far too serious.  Life can be as enjoyable as golf when we keep things in right perspective and don’t lose sight of the fun, loving God who’s behind the whole thing.

Alright, you’re next on the tee….

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