What kind of prayer is appropriate after a game of golf ? I once was asked to say grace at the meal following a women’s golf tournament. I wasn’t sure what to pray about so I explored some literature about golf and the spiritual side of life. I checked out titles like Fairway to Heaven, In His Grip, and of course Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul. The books were inspirational but didn’t help me figure out what to say in my prayer.
An Internet search unearthed some humorous religious golf jokes. Have you heard the one about Jesus, God and Tiger Woods playing eighteen holes together? It’s pretty funny, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to preface my prayer with a joke. People might not be able to stop laughing during grace.
I considered relating a religious story about a famous golfer. I found out when Vijay Singh won the Masters, his sister claimed it was because their entire family prayed for victory for a whole day and a whole night. Had none of the other golfer’s relatives prayed for a win? Why did God choose to listen to the Singh’s petitions? I was confused. If I told Vijay’s story at the luncheon the other women might be puzzled too.
I thought maybe I could share ideas about how the game of golf can positively impact a person’s life. Golf gets us out into the great outdoors where we can appreciate the beauty of God’s creation.
Golf is a way to get exercise and nurture relationships with family and friends. The game of golf can be therapeutic. A widow once told me in the months after her husband’s death playing golf had been a healthy diversion at times when she was feeling lonely.
Golf is an avenue for meeting new people. I’ve talked with many interesting strangers I’ve been partnered with on the links. I’ve golfed at courses all over the world and have learned so much by making friends and chatting with my caddies. Golf provides an opportunity to affirm and encourage others. I used to play in a weekly ladies league and my companions were always so positive. The other women made me believe my golf game wasn’t hopeless. They looked for something good in every shot I made and applauded the slightest improvement in my score. I learned some valuable lessons about the power of affirmation from my female golfing companions.
Golf can be a way to support a worthy endeavor. Many organizations sponsor golf events to raise funds. I’ve played in tournaments where the profits were earmarked for charitable causes.
You’re probably wondering by now what I finally ended up praying at the golf luncheon. I decided not to preface my table grace with any comments. I simply asked the women to bow their heads and then I said…..
We are grateful for the chance we had today to play the game of golf. We are thankful for the exercise it provided for our bodies, for the sense of companionship we experienced with other golfers, and for the opportunity we had to enjoy the beauty of creation. Open our minds and hearts to the lessons this game can teach us about life….. that we shouldn’t give up after a few bad holes, because things will probably get better if we just keep trying…. that we need to be flexible, if the nine iron won’t do the trick, maybe the pitching wedge will….. that the lowest handicaps aren’t necessarily earned by the women with the latest fashions in golfing attire or the most expensive set of clubs, but by those who work hard at their game with patience and persistence.
Bless each person here whether she ended up a winner or loser when the scorecards were handed in today, for if we enjoyed the game we played together we really were all winners. We ask now for your blessing on this food.
Other posts about golf…….