As I've stated before, if we're not willing to build a loving discipleship relationship with another golfer than all of the ministerial bloviating will be meaningless if I'm not doing it myself. (I said that I "stated before", but, not the specific way I just did, lol). Bloviating is a pretty good term when joined with "ministerial".
I have not been able to spend much time with the young high school golfer I mentioned in the last posting, but, one of the fellas in Sunday School and I have begun to spend more time together at the golf course.
Mike and I both live on Indian Hills and if I could hit it better, he would be about a driver's distance from my house right across the #5 tee and through the #4 fairway. In fact, I'm visiting him later today so I'll measure the exact distance; I'd guess maybe 309 yards.
Anyway, Mike and his wife have been coming to our "Empty Nesters" Sunday School and we have started a relationship around the fact that we both like golf. I was not moving very aggressively toward a relationship until a few weeks ago when he shared with me that he was quite downcast and had considered doing something quite stupid to help his family with expenses. I won't say what, but, it begins with an "S" and ends with .... never mind, it was quite scary and serious.
I called him the next day and started to talk out a few things relative to the loss of his job and his challenges to make the payments on his 'stuff'. He was traveling, I was going to be traveling and it took another few weeks before we could get together. During that time, I invited him to experience one of the Challenge Golf Association's Ambassador Outings while I couldn't. He played in the outing and my call to him this past Saturday morning was related to his attendance at the Outing. After our small talk, I told him I was headed over to the course to work on my short and long game a bit and asked if he would like to join me. He said, "Sure, see you there in 45 minutes."
Me. "I've been working on my putting lately. I just can't putt, so, I've gone to one-handed putting. That's right, one-handed and, oh, by-the-way, I chip one-handed as well."
Mike. "What? One-handed, are you kiddin' me, I mean, really?"
"Well, I"ve not been able to hit my driver consistently, I think it's because my driver is the wrong loft, but, probably it's because I am 40 lbs overweight and can't turn nor hit the ball consistently since I only play every two weeks and NEVER practice."
YOU all know how it goes....., then, we got into the good stuff, and I told him how he had scared me a bit the other week talkin' about the "S" thing, y'know. He had been talking about how his wife was the 'breadwinner' now and how he felt so bad. He said they had been discussing it, which is good, but, that he just felt down, just down.
I shared with him about how my wife and I ended up in Tennessee after the career issues I ran into during the 2009 economic mess. I related how I had to take a job at Pizza Hut for awhile as my golf business was squire slow and the humiliation of it all. I also shared how the Lord had led me to another guy, a golfer, who was having similar problems and how we latched onto each other as we met each Wednesday morning for prayer and fellowship. We had become very close and, even though he's living back in Missouri now, how we talk two or three times a month and encourage each other. I told him the message I received from the Lord during that entire time, over a year, was to "Seek My face." That's right, "SEEK MY FACE".
We talked alot more about my Bible reading/study habits and how he was quite inconsistent in his. We agreed that we should get together more often and scheduled a time for, today, actually, at 5 PM at his house. I think we're going to focus on Mark 1 and 2 at the beginning and see where it goes from there.
Just meeting at the golf course with a fellow golfer and gettin' to know each other a bit.
I'll let cha know how it goes.