I live in a golfing family. I have spent the last 13 years learning and watching the game. Side note here: I don’t play golf. In fact, I have no hand-eye coordination and cannot make contact with the ball…I stopped trying a long time ago and chose to be a spectator, fan and sometimes caddy……! But golf has taught me many things…and many of the things I have learned about the game I have grown to love often parallels to life. I love to make these analogies and write about them…over the last 8 years for sure. After spending several years just learning the game and asking questions of people who were experts, I have loved mentally making the comparisons.
I can’t tell you how important the simple concept of “Alignment” is in the game of golf. You can have the most beautiful and powerful swing…..you can “sniff” out putts all day long….and get up and down from anywhere. But if off the tee or in the fairway your “alignment” is the slightest bit “OFF,” then you are in for a long day….of frustration….and probably not such a great score……UNLESS you learn to recognize….that you are off……easily said but sometimes hard to do!
I learned while walking with our kids’ instructor as he has watched our kids play golf, if they were not playing well, their teacher would often say their alignment was off. Another side note: in junior golf you cannot give advice to a player during the round.
I knew they had been working hard and were happy with their preparation but still, their alignment was off……which means they were lining up poorly…and thus hitting the ball in places that were not their intended target. They were looking right where they wanted their ball to go, but their hips were off just slightly….they wouldn’t realize this….especially when they were young….and didn’t correct during a round….over a 4 hour period of not correcting….they would hit shot after shot being poorly aligned. Thus, not getting the result they were looking for….this, over a period of 4 hours, would breed major frustration, anxiety…and, yes, a poor score.
I find life to be very much about alignment…..we can know where we want to go…..but we may not be “aligned” properly!
I believe we have a Creator and He is God….He has also given us the best instruction in the world which is the Bible. When we don’t read it….and choose to just do our own thing….over a period of time…..we are not aligned properly and….just don’t hit our target! You can argue, “Well look at so and so…look at how successful he/she is….!”
What I can say in the Back 9 is that if you are looking at perfect alignment in the “eyes” of worldly success…..that is not the alignment I am talking about. Just look at the recent horrific death of Robin Williams….he had unique gifts which he used to gain fame and fortune. He had family who loved him. Even though he suffered majorly from depression, I believe his alignment may have been off….in turning to drugs…..for help. I am not talking about prescription drugs…I am talking about illegal, addictive substances. His fame, fortune and family could not help him.
I have said before…I will not judge his heart….I will leave that to God and God alone…but I see no evidence that he knew God…nor had a relationship with HIM. I have read many books and known countless people who suffer from many things……the ones I see who align themselves with God…scripture and people to help……..eventually hit great “life shots.” Life shots of peace, purpose, meaning…that go way beyond the worldly definition…a fulfillment that only God can give.
Psalm 18:30, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
Many times, like in golf, we become helpless in seeing that our alignment is off. As in golf…it can just be slightly off and we miss our target or intended purpose. I love what psychologist James Dobson said, “What is the use of climbing the ladder of success only to find that it’s leaning against the wrong building!”
I urge you today…to take a few steps back….look at your “alignment” in life or maybe look at what “building” you have your ladder leaning on???
When our children were playing high school golf….those coaches were allowed to talk to the players during a round. It was refreshing to see, when our kids were not aligned correctly, the coach telling them to “check your alignment!” after the hole. Amazing things happened……the next hole would be very different. Most of the time, if their problem was alignment, and they knew….the result on the next hole was much different, a positive different…..a much better score and, yes, much less frustration.
Maybe you need someone, a “coach,” to check your alignment……..it can be a trusted friend, relative, pastor, counselor…..to help you see what you are not seeing. God’s desire for anyone is HIS BEST. Often we choose not to know or fail to seek another set of “eyes” to course correct.
Don’t be prideful.
Seek help and trusted eyes….to check your alignment.
YOU don’t have to reach an unintended destination.
Psalm 107:10, “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”