Golf Is Hard

Golf is hard.

Especially when it’s in Texas. In summer. In the middle of the day. With four small children.

And did you know that you’re supposed to be quiet at a golf course? Even when you have FOUR SMALL CHILDREN there?

Like I said, golf is hard. And that’s before you actually start trying to hit the ball.

But we go regardless because my oldest is a golf fiend who has a natural gift for crushing the ball and nerds out over things like golf gloves, hybrid clubs, and bags that stand up on their own.

So she takes lessons once a week and we all go to support her and cheer her on.

When she’s with her instructor, I take the littles off to the side lest someone gets struck in the head with a driver. And, more often than not, we all end up crammed into a tiny pocket of shade while I dish out food and drinks to a not-so-quiet chorus of “I’m stirsty” and “MOM I’M HUNGRY!”

Last time, as I dug through the diaper bag for more food, the baby started wailing. Loud. In a desperate attempt to hush her, I pulled her from the stroller, grabbed a nearby iron chair and dragged it to the shade, and then—without thinking—sat down to nurse her. Immediately, my skin slurped up the warmth from the metal seat that had been roasting in the Texas sun. The heat seared my skin, biting my arms and the back of my thighs before bleeding its way through my clothes.

I winced at the pain, but stayed put. I could manage. The soft, smooth skin of my seven-month-old, however, definitely could not. Surely, the blazing hotness of the chair would burn her to blisters. So I propped her in my lap to make sure nothing—not her head, her arms, her legs, not even her clothed torso—touched the heat.

She had no idea how close she was to being burned alive. She just laid there, drinking happily, until the unbearable heat had penetrated through my skin and disappeared as though it were never there.

Then, with the baby tucked safely in the folds of my body, I handed out drinks and snacks to the others.

All the while, my oldest, the golf pro, was whacking balls, holding her own next to veteran golfers. Every time she’d hit a ball over the hill or near a drum, she’d turn to me, her face shining with triumph. And every time she’d turn my way, I’d smile back at her and pump my fist in the air or give her a big thumbs up.

I’m used to this circus act—this juggling of four small people—so it didn’t seem like much at the time.

But as we left, it hit me how much I was actually doing at one time.

Cheering for one, feeding another. Quenching the thirst of someone else. Holding yet another person and literally feeding her with my body. All the while, sitting in the shadows, serving strangers with silence.

And yet God works this way every single day. Not just for four people. But for seven billion.

I’m used to this circus act—this God providing everything I need right when I need it thing—so sometimes it doesn’t seem like much.

But occasionally, when I pause for a moment to really look at what He’s doing, it hits me how much He actually does at one time.

Cheering for one, feeding another. Quenching the thirst of someone else. Holding yet another person. Literally feeding us with His Body. Even His silence, when He gives it, is meant for our good.

I know because I have been all of those people. I have been the one in need of encouragement, the one in need of food. I have been the thirsty. The one met with silence.

And still, throughout it all, I have been the one He spared from the smoldering fire.

Because life is hard. He knows that from firsthand experience.

Especially when it’s covered in sin. During social and civil unrest. In the middle of a global pandemic. With seven billion needy children.

And did you know that we’re supposed to love, serve, and listen to others in times like these? Even when we have SEVEN BILLION people here?

Like I said, life is hard. And that’s before you actually start trying to live like Christ.

But we try regardless because we are Jesus fiends who have a natural desire to love and nerd out over things like the Bible, prayer, and the lives of the saints.

Then we go to Mass at least once a week and to support each other and cheer each other on.

For a long time ago, humanity starting wailing. Loud. In a desperate attempt to help us, Jesus came to earth, grabbed His cross and dragged it to the top of Calvary. Immediately, His skin slurped up the heat from the wooden tree that had been roasting in our sins.

He grimaced and cried out in pain, but stayed put. He could manage. The baby soft souls of humanity, however, definitely could not. Surely, the blazing hotness would burn us to blisters. So He propped us all into His lap to make sure nothing—not our heads, our arms, our legs, and definitely not our hearts—touched the heat.

I may never truly understand how close I’ve been to burning alive. Instead, I’ll stay here, happily drinking in God’s graces, until the unbearable heat penetrates through His skin and disappears as though it were never there.

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