I played nine holes of golf with my son yesterday. There’s nothing like father/son golf time.
I never wanted to play golf. I thought it was a wimp sport, but my sonny boy went crazy about Tiger Woods when he was nine so I figured if I wanted to spend time with him I better learn how to play golf, or at least make a stab at it.
We entered Will in a Dana Radar Golf Camp in Charlotte, NC. Will won a lot of the camp’s awards so we signed him up for individual lessons. He blossomed. In middle school and high school he was his team’s best player. In recent years Will has been a scratch golfer (that means he shoots par) or close to scratch. Will has even made a double eagle. That’s a two on a par 5!
In addition to being an excellent golfer, Will has the ability to teach people how to play golf and is very good at analyzing a person’s swing and pointing out needed corrections.
My golf game has been suffering mightily. I blamed my bad golf scores on not having time to play or practice, but the truth surfaced yesterday. Will pointed out four or five things I was doing wrong. Or put another way, practice doing it wrong and you will continue to do it wrong. At the end of our nine holes I looked at Will and said, “I’m making the same mistakes I made ten years ago.” He gave me one of those “hello/wake up looks” while also trying not to look critical or condescending.
Are you making mistakes you made ten years ago? Habits, including bad golf habits, are hard as hell to break.
On a more positive note, I have changed one bad habit – conflict avoidance. At my first church I was unaware I had gotten in between a soured relationship between two people in the congregation. Never fun to be in the middle of sourness. Anyway, one of the ladies sang in the choir and after singing and right before I started preaching she would get up out of the choir and exit the church. How rude can you be! Nothing pisses a preacher off than a pissy person getting up in front of God and everybody and leaving church right before she or he preaches.
My wife tried to get me to talk with the lady. I refused. I didn’t want to support her rude behavior. The truth, as my wife pointed out, was that I was a conflict avoider, a passive aggressive person.
So the conflict went on and on and on.
Years later I went back for homecoming at the church. I immediately apologized to the lady. She was very gracious.
In my current church I’ve also had to deal with conflict and rude behavior. Fortunately, with my past experiences, with my wife teaching me about conflict avoidance and the disadvantages of being passive aggressive, and with the help of counselors, I have been able to identify conflict and offer to meet with people face-to-face as soon as possible.
What are some lessons you’ve learned/behaviors you have changed that have greatly improved your life?
So sometimes we change and sometimes we don’t. Let’s keep working on making needed changes.
For me it’s back to the putting green to work on not slicing my putts. And it’s back to the range and golf course to work on a set up routine and a more around swing path.