My dad and I were playing golf some 35 years ago. It was one of the things I enjoyed most. Seems like yesterday.
It was a beautiful spring morning with dew still on the greens. On the second tee, a long par 5, I sliced my drive over the power lines and out of bounds. I was angry as I’d been hitting a big “banana” slice for awhile and unable to fix it. He hit one down the middle, rolling over the hill and out of sight, glancing over at me with a little smile.
As we walked over the bridge and up the hill he asked “How would you like to get rid of your slice today?” I said something like “duh.” He told me to drop a ball next to his and he was going to give me a lesson. My dad didn’t usually offer golfing tips (since I’d started occasionally beating him). But I guess this day he felt sorry for me, or he wanted to remind me he still knew more than I did.
As I lined up over my shot he said “I want you to aim waaaaaay left.” I started about 5 yards left and he kept saying “more, more, more, more…” By the time I stopped moving my feet I was lined up 50 yards left of the target, down the 9th fairway. Then he said something I’ll never forget, “Now try and hit it to the right.”
As I swung the club, surprisingly, there was no slice, and the ball went straight up the middle (of our fairway). Dad proceeded to explain the dynamics of “opening up,” “trusting your mind to get your club on the right path” and “making big adjustments to get the results you want.” All I knew was I hit the ball straight. And he smiled the rest of the round.
It is a fact of human nature that we are willing to try new things when times get tough. Just this past week I was processing with a friend about our series in Joshua and blind spots. It was in the context of failure and hardship (time and time again) that Israel got up and made healthy changes. And when things were going well that she got into ruts and drifted off course.
It feels like this spring is going to be a time of big adjustments and knocking the ball down the middle of the fairway.
And that God the Father is smiling as He walks with us.