Arnold Palmer I am NOT!

by Joe Talhelm

About a year ago I took up the game of golf. I had always looked at golf as a boring game, a game for retirees. Golf, to me, looked so senseless and time consuming that I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to play it unless they had absolutely nothing else to do. Therefore I stayed away from the game. When there was a sports special on television and it was golf, I just flipped to something else - no interest here!

Like I said, I took up the game of golf just last year and found out just how fun (and frustrating) the game of golf could be. I borrowed a set of clubs and headed out to my very first real game of golf. I really wasn't good, but hey, this was just my first outing. I shot a 72 for my first game - not bad for a beginner, huh? I guess I should tell you that the 72 score was for only nine holes, shouldn't I? Anyway, I found that the game of golf is very much like the game of life. It has it's ups and it's downs and it's thrilling times and it's frustrating times. So, I thought I would jot a few things down about the game of golf and how it relates to the game of life.

Each hole is like a new day. Some holes are more challenging than others. Some holes have their ups and downs. Some holes have traps just waiting for the golfer. Some holes present more headaches than others. But each hole adds up to the whole game. You have to face each hole then go on to the next hole.

In life some days have more problems than others. Some days are more challenging than others. Some days it would just be better if we could go back to bed and start over. But, all days add up to life. You just have to deal with each day individually and then go on to the next day.

Each hole is should be treated with confidence. Just because the last whole was a success, does not mean that the next one will be too. Or, just because the last whole was such a bomb doesn't mean that the next one will be a bomb too! Each hole should be treated as a brand new challenge forgetting either the success or the failure of the last hole. Sometimes you excel, sometimes you do not. Either way you keep on going.

Thus it is with life - just because yesterday was a washout doesn't mean that today has to be a bad day, too. And just because you rode high yesterday doesn't mean that today will be that great too - although it would be nice, wouldn't it?

Patience and confidence are key to each hole. Some holes I do terrific and then I jump into the next hole and it becomes disastrous and I get frustrated and am ready to quit. I think that all is lost and I am a failure. Along comes the next hole and my confidence is starting to rise again.

Every day our patience is tried. Every day our confidence rocks from strong to weak. Every day we need to realize that life isn't always bad - good times do come along and we understand that every day is given by God and what we do with that day determines how we end up. It is always good to understand that good or bad, each day is for us and God to go through.

Different clubs are needed on the different holes. Some holes require woods, some require irons. For each hole different equipment is needed. There are long holes and short holes and each one is treated accordingly.

Every day required different resources. Each day different thoughts come into play. Each day is a brand new page for us to write our life's story. What worked yesterday, may not work today. What failed yesterday may prove to be successful today or even tomorrow.

The game of golf shouldn't be taken too seriously. When I take the game of golf too seriously, I begin to hate it. When I let the game get too me, it is no longer fun. When I allow that silly little white ball to have the victory over my enjoyment of the game, the game becomes a drag and I am ready to quit.

It is possible to take life too seriously. It is possible to allow life to beat us down to the point that we hate it and want to quit. Life just shouldn't be that rough. As a child of God we all need to look to Him as the tough times come and let Him help us through them. Doing that, we will allow ourselves to enjoy life to the fullest extent.

I may not know much about golf or even life, but I do know this, with God on my side I can enjoy anything as long as I let God help me and work through me.

Now, it is time to hit the greens. Want to come with me?