Thursday, February 7, 2008

I'll Take A Mulligan

Today's been one of "those days". It hasn't been bad-although there've been bad parts; and it hasn't been good-although, there've been some good parts too. But it's one of the days that leaves me, at it's end, asking myself what I'm doing.

Sometimes, I look back at a day or a week, and wonder if I'll ever learn. Today had a few of those experiences--the ones that, if you'd learned your lesson the last time, or two times ago, or five times ago, you'd be smiling about, as opposed to crying.

I, apparently, am thick-skulled. I just can't seem to get it right. And I find myself, on what seems like the fourth or fifth hole, playing my sixth or seventh mulligan--saying, "Hey, self: I've messed up again. Gimme another ball." At some point, you hesitate to stick your hand in the bag for fear that it'll be suddenly empty.

I stop, and look back over the course I've traversed thus far, and see my shots gone awry strewn all about the course, and I realize that, above all else, I'm simply an embarrassement when it comes to the game of life.

And I'm tempted to despair. No, that's not true; I promptly dive-bomb, emotionally, into the deepest pits of despair. At times, it feels like a permanent fixture in my life.

I think that's probably the single greatest struggle that I face when it comes to a relationship with God; how in the world could a God really love someone as messed up as I?

Because, I'll be honest with you--perhaps this says something about me as a Christian--but, for the most part, I don't really "feel" loved by God. I'm certain that He does love me, but often, the disconnect between my heart and my mind is so severe, I can't force myself to trust it fully.

Especially on these days, when I start counting the stray balls and the mulligans.

I took a few moments tonight to gaze back down the course of my life, and began examining, from this great distance, some of those embarrassing shots that landed me in the sand-traps of life. Some of them were near enough that I could see. Others were distant-far enough back that they were no more than a speck on a field of green. Others were so far behind me, they weren't even visible any more.

And then it struck me: despite the fact that I look back over the game, and I can't recall a single excellent stroke, but can see, in plain sight, the evidence of dozens of horrible shots, I stand here, on this fourth or fifth hole, having made some headway.

And I stood, speechless, for a moment. How is it that I've not made a single decent shot, yet I've progressed nicely down the course?

"It was me," I heard.

I looked around.

"I've been making the shots for you; you refused to acknowledge it, and kept trying to play the game alone, and I let you play. But I played alongside you. It's because of me you're still here.

"And so, what right do you have to think poorly of yourself? You win the game," He continued. "I'm insulted that you can't get over yourself long enough to let go of the lack of self-worth, and realize that, if I weren't playing the game with you, you'd not have budged from your starting point. Why don't you forget you for a while, and just be a tool that I can use to accomplish what I want to accomplish THROUGH you?"

I'm sorry again, God.


Shane Eccles said...

Lately I have had similar feelings. It’s good to hear that you understand the “game”. I feel that God does not allow me to achieve “great things”, because the “great things” I’ve set out to achieve, in the grand scheme of things, is not really all that great...

Mrs. Willman said...

I can truly relate to your mulligans as so does many many others. If you look at all the people of success from the secular to the Christian world. You have people that succeeded with many defeats at times. Look at the Old Testament from Moses to David they did great things, but look at their mistakes. And in the secular there's the Donald Trumps and others with bancrupties to failure after failure at times, but the key thing they had was they did not give up. They tryed and tryed.
God has given you a lot of talents and ambitions PJ, but the hard part and the key part is to channel those for God's benefit not ours. The bible says those that want to be great must be servant of all.
Even Jesus learned obedience with the things he suffered.
Unfornately we are not perfect and must rely on God who is, that's one reason why I think God allows us to make mistakes, is to rely on His perfection not ours.
John W.

April Renee said...

Hey P.J.

you are not alone by any means. However, like you, I have heard that same voice, and have seen the perverbal, "footprints in the sand". I am so glad I don't have to "feel" God's love. He loves me anyway. I have have a hard time with accepting His love and trusting in His love. Retarded as it sounds, the 16 inches between my head and heart cause me the most torment. But I thank God that over the last 2 months or so, He has done a great work, through counseling and me commiting myself to more prayer and Bible reading, I am seeing a change in my perceptions and reactions. Far from where I want to be, but we are in a constant growing process in this game called life. Just know that along with God, there are many people along side you that love ya (dispite ya)and understand more that you know the stuggles you've expressed.

Standing with you,

PJ said...

What does it mean that people love me...despite me?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I already told you that I enjoyed this post but as I sit here, reading it all over again I'm struck mostly by the sincerity of it all. I too have been wondering around on this 'golf course' looking out at the
green and just thinking, what am I even doing out here. I don't know a thing about this game and to tell the truth I couldnt hit the ball if my life depended on it, and if I was to somehow hit the ball where would it go. I lack any talent and I'm definetly not a 'Tiger Woods', yet as I stand back looking and thinking, I too hear that voice saying 'of course you cannot do it on your own, its because of me that you've progressed like you have, what better way for me to demonstrate my glory and power in your life.
Those who lack talent and ability, yet somehow win the game, those, those are mine.' Thanks For the post, puts life in perspective.