Soccer, baseball and golf cleats litter the mud room with dirt, grass and turf pellets. My washing machine scrubs on overdrive. With soccer for one, baseball for the other and golf for all, the crazy time when all sports overlap with the last days of school is in full swing-pardon the pun. Keeping me sane is my color-coordinated calendar. But not even a rainbow of dry erase scheduling can anticipate everything.
Being a soccer, baseball and golf mom is both gratifying and overwhelming. I organize and adjust for every contingency, but can never foresee it all. As in sports, we can plan our lives, but at some point, we have to trust the preparation, stand firm and swing.
I love team sports like soccer and baseball for my children as they learn teamwork. But golf truly parallels life. In golf and life we are responsible for each swing, its result and the subsequent adaptations required. Often, mental rather than physical strength is necessary.
The golf ball does not move until it is struck. There’s time to prepare, think and plan each shot. Similar to life, occasionally a swing goes astray and no amount of calendar color coordination can prepare us.
Often, I have everything outlined for my life and golf game. God’s design, however, may be different. The driver I planned on ripping 200+ yards dribbles off the tee or flies to the rough. Now what? Try for the green or hit the more practical shot? Life and golf are a series of choices. In both, I haven’t always chosen the wisest path. I’ve gone for the green after an errant swing and compounded a bad situation. But wisdom flows from experience and mistakes.
My golf game will never be like anyone else’s. Once I finally comprehended this, I relaxed and appreciated playing even more. I learned to manage my own game, in any given situation. Previously, I’d allow numerous thoughts to cloud my head and affect my swing. Paralysis by analysis, they say. Learning to clear those clouds released me to just swing.
God provides everything to live our lives for Him in the Bible and through Jesus’ example. Study, prayer and worship are crucial but eventually I need to trust the preparation, hit the ball and live. If something goes astray, God is still with me. Regroup and move on, learning from mistakes with His wisdom.
No one can play my game or live my life except me. Trying to live my life like someone else will never be what God has planned for me.
As Paul encouraged the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:
21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
God calls us to live for Him while sharing His love with the world. We each uniquely accomplish this as we live in relationship with Him. I plan with my color-coordinated calendar but also understand God is in control. As in golf, if I shank, top, slice or hook the ball, I let it go and focus on the next swing. Let’s stand firm, focus on and follow Him, wherever life’s ball lands.