Closer To The Hole.

This is James Hines, age 61. He recently drove his golf cart into a group of younger, slower golfers and bashed one of them in the head with a golf club. All because they consistently slowed up his round of golf.

My guess? James needs to lighten up.

I grew up in a golfer’s house.  My dad to this day would gladly trade any other human activity for a bad round of golf.  And as a dutiful golfing father, he has passed on a knowledge and dare I even say an enjoyment of the sport of golf.  And today I can openly admit:

“Hi. My name is Jerry. I have a set of clubs in my shed.”

But the downside of playing golf with someone who loves golf is that they love to play golf well. And expect to.  On every stroke.  And when they don’t….oh boy.  Look out, because “Hell hath no fury like a serious golfer who tops the ball.”  I always loved playing golf with my dad, but the enjoyment factor went up 10-fold when we made this decision: We weren’t going to keep score anymore.  After we made that switch, we had just one criteria for defining a good shot: “Closer to the hole.”

Life in ministry is jam-packed with pars, birdies, and even eagles.  But its also filled with gaffs, mulligans, and do-overs, not to mention the occasional club wrapped around the nearest proverbial tree trunk.  In the midst of seeking out what it means to be a part of a “successful” ministry/career/endeavor/project, I’d suggest that you simply ask yourself, “Am I closer to the hole?”  Have you done something–anything–that has moved you closer to the goal?  And let me qualify “anything”.  It means “anything“.  That includes: thought, dream, plan, brainstorm, prayer, calls, connections, or anything else to inch the ball along.  Far too often I can allow the inevitable reality of an “off” day to skew my overall vision of the effectiveness and impact of the overall mission.

Another great idiom we adopted was that every hole was the first hole.  We’d have to forget both the sweet shots and the drink-sinkers of the last hole and start fresh with the shot in front of us.  Otherwise we’d rely too heavily on the past, and that would always negatively affect the present.

So, James Hines needs to lighten up.  Do you?

How do you define success in the field you’re in; be it a ministry field, a career field, or a mission field?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

By the way, my Dad is not only a great golfer, but a phenomenal pastor, preacher, and writer.  You can check out his blog by using the link to the right called “Gleanings from the Word of God”.