“A good walk spoiled.” “Being in love with a woman who hates your guts.” “Men in ugly pants walking.”
Ahhh, the links.
Tom is unsuccessfully going through golf withdrawal. There is no 12 step program for this. So last night, as a really super fun alternative to an evening hike, Tom suggested we play the 9-hole “executive course” at a nearby torture facility golf course. And because it is heartbreaking to watch him progress through the five stages of grief, my answer was “I’m in!” So off we drove with wildly inflated expectations.
My cute green “Ping” logo golf bag was stuffed with an assortment of clubs that have not seen daylight for 3 full years (minus the putter which I believe is wrapped around a tree somewhere in South Georgia). It was a beautiful evening, green and sunny. Birds were singing in the balmy breezes. The fairways were lush and wide. What’s not to love about golf? I teed up at the bright red ladies markers, took a mighty swing and allowed my fairway wood to do it’s magic. Then I walked to where the ball had rolled, about 17 feet in front of me, and took another whack at it. Only rolling 7 or 8 feet this time, I was already looking back wistfully at the parking lot. Only 8.75 holes to go.
Between the 3rd and 4th hole, my full inadequacy was completely exposed. I told Tom that no other human being on the planet would ever be allowed to watch me play golf. My disastrously uncoordinated swing and total failure as an athlete was reserved for his eyes only. In front of Tom, and Tom alone, I can be completely vulnerable, naked and unashamed. What a lucky guy!
I have told thousands of teenagers that the greatest thing about a healthy marriage is that you are able to spend the rest of your life with someone who really knows you and likes you anyway. Genesis 2:25 states this same amazing fact about Adam and Eve. (Golf came a bit later, and swearing emerged only minutes afterward.) In marriage, the goal is to be fully known, to love fully and be fully loved. Once again, God is giving us a taste of His own overwhelming and unending acceptance. Because of His great love for us, and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We can live our lives completely open to Him, naked and not ashamed, because of that great love.
Whether or not you are married, be sure to occasionally do things that expose your vulnerability. Be silly, let people see your weaknesses. And I hope you find authentic God filled relationships with people who really know you and love you anyway.
Enjoy your weekly hike.