When our children first started playing golf and competing, it was apparent that I was new to the game. If you knew me back then and happened to have a child paired with one of our children, especially Brewer or Thomas, you knew right away that I didn’t know very much about golf. In fact, now I sometimes wonder how funny it must have been when I asked some very uninformed questions!! LOL!! But upon reflection of the time spent on the course and asking questions, I found that was how I learned all about the game of golf!
There are so many rules in golf from the type of play, to balls and clubs, to player responsibility, to order of play, etc. Most players keep a rule book in their bag to refer back to if they have a question. I can remember early on when Brewer was on the putting green, he was probably 9, and he putted his ball. It rolled past the flag and touched the flag stick which was a penalty. Needless to say, he is now 24 and has played hundreds of times. He has only had that penalty one time. He quickly learned the rule about leaving the flag anywhere on the green where a putted ball could come close to the pulled flag. For me, early on, I had to turn to another spectator, usually the parent of another player, and ask the “ignorant questions” about what was going on. To this day I can confuse a par 4 with a par 5. Distance still gets me!!
The point I am trying to make is that it took me a very long time to learn all the rules I needed to know and understand the game our kids love. To this day there are still a few rules I don’t know but I leave that up to the kids. I have always found the help I needed from people who were spectating with me or from the players themselves. NO one has ever been unkind. I have always been eagerly met with advice and help. Sometimes I am sure there were hidden grins when they turned and walk away from me. Understandable!! I would expect such because it was funny!!! Our kids, if they were to be honest about it, were sometimes probably the ones shaking their heads and laughing, or maybe even a little embarrassed!! Today, I have gained enough knowledge that my kids allow me to caddy. But I know my boundaries and even when caddying, I usually don’t step on the green. I stay back and just hand them the club!! (The greens are special places. I feel, and so do our kids, that if I make an honest mistake around the green, I could affect another player and I certainly would feel terrible if that happened!)
I am soooooo very glad I didn’t let my lack of knowledge, or the fact that I had never played and still don’t, keep me away from learning and caddying!! I love to be involved!! It is a lot like knowing and following Christ. I love to tell people about Jesus and my journey of faith. I want to help them, especially people who were like me on the golf course. They don’t know very much but are eager to learn. I realize I grew up in church and in a Christian home where it was easy for me to not only have a relationship with Jesus, but to learn about Jesus from a very young age and see a relationship with Jesus lived out by many!! I often tell people about my lack of knowledge about golf and having to learn the game as an adult because I didn’t grow up around the game. In fact, I was 26 before I ever walked on a golf course. On the Back 9, and on the Front 9 of life, I am very sensitive to the fact that there are many people who didn’t grow up in church or in a Christian home. They didn’t have the advantage that I have had.
Just like my experience in learning the game of golf, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are reading this post and you are unsure and lack knowledge about Jesus, let me STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO ASK!! Don’t be afraid!! I was so blessed to have had eager and kind people help me out and gently instruct me as I learned the game of golf!!! The same kind of people exist to help you learn about Jesus and having a life of faith. You can certainly inbox me!!! Also, I am sure some of you have been seeking but have had a negative experience with someone. Don’t let that stop you!!! Find someone else!! I am sure there could have been people who might not have been as kind to me as I learned about golf but I didn’t experience that! (thankfully!!!)
Learning the game of golf has been incredibly great to me. I feel the exact same way about a relationship with Jesus, except I think it is BETTER THAN GOLF, and VASTLY more important!!! So I leave you with this scripture found in Matthew 7:7-12, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Don’t be afraid to ask. You can ask God to show you someone who will help you learn or you can ask Him to teach you. Don’t let the guilt of your past, or your current situation, or fear of what you think you might have to give up stop you from learning about Christ and having a relationship with Him. It is a process and, just like in golf, you don’t have to know everything or be everything to start learning and growing….. you are in for a real TREAT. YOU JUST HAVE TO START BY ASKING!!!