Nice to hear that golf courses are open again here in Melbourne …

A few years ago, I was sitting in a nice cafe overlooking a beautiful golf course. I was enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, reflecting on my life, and writing in my journal. I have played a fair amount of golf over the years – some very enjoyable games and some very frustrating ones. Golf is definitely not my favourite sport.

Here’s my journal entry for that day (with apologies to golf lovers!):

The game of GOLF is a metaphor for the human predicament. 

We live in a beautiful world of hills, trees, bushes, grass, flowers, lakes, streams, and wildlife. Instead of simply enjoying it and meandering through its beauty in a peaceful manner, we have to set a goal. 

We put a hole in the ground, a flag in the air, and off we go. Swinging a golf club. Hitting a ball. Trying to get it into the hole. Quicker and faster than our competitors. Counting our shots.

Do we experience frustration or joy? It depends on how well we are DOING. Everything else is blocked out. We don’t see much. We are focused on the goal. After all, “Winners are grinners and losers are suckers”, they say.

Now let’s do it again … and again and again. 

Who turned life into such a competitive game? Who took the joy out of the simplicity of taking a walk in God’s beautiful world! 

It’s time to bail. Refuse to play the game! Throw away your clubs. Put on your walking shoes. Soak in the sun. Stop and look at the flowers. Listen to the birds. Delight in this gift called LIFE. It’s not a game to be endured. It’s a journey to be enjoyed.

[Journal – 29th August 2019]

Actually, we can learn a lot from sport about the game of life. Listen to my podcast for a recent message given at Bayside Church on ‘Winning at the Game of Life: Lessons from the World of Sport‘.

6 thoughts on “Reflections on the Game of GOLF

  1. I have always valued your wisdom, advice and input to my life in many ways Mark, but as a golfer it’s clear that you now need more wisdom advice and help! 🙂

  2. I am with you Mark. Since stopping riding twice per week and measuring my distance, average speed, maximum speed and overall time, I have taken to walking through a huge near by park with many wildflowers. My anxiety of doing a PB each ride has gone and I take in God’s creation with camera in hand to record His nature.

    1. What a wonderful story, Keith. Nothing wrong with goals, achievement, and competition but there is something therapeutic about simply enjoying the moment and taking in the wonder of God’s world.

  3. It is with golf that I practice a mindfulness in which I have found a way to destress. As I focus on my swing and strategy all other thoughts, tensions and clients needs, leave my mind. As I inhale the smells of the freshly cut grass, feel the warmth of the sunshine on my face, enjoy the company of my golf partners, I know the Lord has given me this game that I can play into my 90’s so that I am recharged the calling He has given me at Abundant Life Counselling and in the Christian Counsellors Association.

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