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5 Ideas God Has Given Me Through Golf

by Stephen Hebert on Sunday - 18 February 2007

in This and That

As many of you know, I am an avid golfer. So, here are 5 ideas that God has given me through one of my favorite sports!

(1) Creation

I have stared down a long par 5 at a course called Porto Cima on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. I knew that man (in theory, a guy named Jack Nicklaus) made this hole. Bulldozers came in and moved dirt around. Grass was planted. A peninsula was pushed out into the lake for a little dramatic effect. All of it was very intentional.

Now, let’s go stand atop the Continental Divide in Colorado. Majesty is far from random, in my eyes.

Psalm 19:1 — “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (ESV)

(2) I am Small

A typical par 5 is about 500 yards long. I am less than 2 yards long. A golf ball is about 1/36 of a yard long. On most of the courses that I play, I need to propel the ball some 6,000 yards throughout 18 different holes.

Step back. let’s compare those 6,000 yards to the size of the Earth; to the size of the Solar System; to the size of the galaxy; etc.

I am dwarfed by the lengths of the links—I am small.

Psalm 8:4 — “[W]hat is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (ESV)

(3) Attitude is Everything

Things are going well. I’m getting confident. Too confident. I pull out a 3-wood, hoping to bend it around some trees and reach the green of a par 5 in two—setting me up for a birdie or even an eagle. I hit the shot crisply. The ball sails through the air and bends on command. Alas, it clips a tree I hoped to avoid and finds its way into a pond just short of the green.

The wheels come off. What had been a great round is soured by a failed attempt. I go on to bogey this hole, and the next, and the next.

Attitude is everything.

Romans 12:2 — “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (ESV)

(4) Miracles 4 Real

Recently, I was stuck in a fairway bunker. It was pretty shallow, and the sand was powdery. I was about 240 yards from the center of the green (it was a par 5). I said a prayer as I pulled out my 3-wood.

I don’t really remember what happened. I do know that, in the end, I was putting for an eagle—which I missed. Somehow, I had hit the green and two-putted for birdie.

Seriously—miracles happen.

Proverbs 16:33 — “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (ESV)

(5) Physics Happens

OK, force equals mass times acceleration (F = M x A). Cool. And an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force. Sweet. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. All right!

Sometimes, you hit the ball fat—hitting the Earth way behind the ball. Sometimes, the Earth isn’t moist and forgiving. Sometimes you experience excruciating pain. Thanks, Isaac Newton, for explaining this.

Jeremiah 10:19 — “Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous.”

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