Finding God's Winning Spirit


November 18, 2013 | Greg Smith | Sports


About a decade ago I decided I was going to really throw my athletic ability at the game of golf. I have always been a better than average athlete and at that particular time I was about a 10 handicap. My plan was to find the best teaching pro in the area and pay him to help me develop a professional golf swing resulting in a single digit handicap. This seemed simple, doable and reasonable. After all, if John Daly can do it, you would think I could.

I sought out and procured the best young teaching pro in the area and scheduled my first lesson. After he watched me hit a dozen balls or so he commented, "Wow, you are a great athlete". Now I will be honest with you, deep down inside I already knew this but to hear someone actually say it was pretty cool. Attempting to be humble I asked him to elaborate, he responded with, "You have so many things wrong with your golf swing it takes a heck of an athlete just to make contact with the ball.” Two thoughts quickly ran through my head about this kid – fire him or adopt him.

As I stood there momentarily stunned by his honesty and humor, he expounded on his observations. He went on to say that there were things about my golf set-up and swing that worked against the end result which was to hit the ball straight with distance. He told me that because of my athletic ability I was able to compensate for my inadequacies on a shot by shot basis. This athletic ability allowed me to be an average golfer but because of my mechanical problems I would never be able to improve much. In simple words he told me that if I did not incorporate some of the basic principles of the golf swing I would be doomed to inconsistent golf – compensating one shot at a time. 

I have seen this “compensation concept" play out not only in other areas of my own life but in the lives of my clients. Clients often times talk about feeling stagnant or having reached some sort of "plateau". They talk about being stuck in “suspended animation” and unable to move or grow. When I feel this way, or hear my clients say this, I think back to my golf coach who told me that the reason I could not improve was because I was out of balance, misaligned and relying on a combination of compensations.

For many of us that is what therapy is. It is going to a coach, hitting a couple balls and asking how's my swing. We often times take shortcuts in life knowing that we are not practicing the principles that we were taught yet hope to get the same outcome or result. We get lazy yet expect excellence in our performance. We tell ourselves that we are pretty good at who we are and what we do but deep down know that we are juggling or biding our time. Someone needs to look us straight in the eyes and say, “Wow, you are a heck of a person. You have so many things out of whack in your life yet you still are able to get through the day."

This is what our relationship with Christ provides. Through His love and model we not only get the principles we need; we have a loving coach who is willing to tell us the truth. Living our lives based on the principles of our faith allows us to not only perform well it allows us the chance to grow. Many times all it takes to grow or improve our performance is to honestly ask God for help.  God wants us to perform at the highest level in life and does not want us to  accept a “lukewarm” existence.

If we can get this kind of direction and honesty from a golf coach imagine what we will get from God Himself! 

Great analogy! Thanks, Greg!
Posted by Meredith on
Love this! Laughed out first:)
Posted by Joelene Vickers on
I really enjoyed this, Greg! A great analogy - even for a non-golfer!
Posted by Debbie Smith on
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