I observed something the other day that made me laugh. I was driving down a nearby street where a golf course weaves around the community. Hole Number 9 is just off to the left of the street. A golfer was on the median between the street and the sidewalk, golf ball on the ground, club in hand. I’m no golfer, but I believe that ball was clearly out of bounds. Not only had it gone past the “rough” and the few trees in the area, but was nearly in the street (hopefully he shouted “FORE” as he could have hit a pedestrian.)
Rather than pick up the ball and put it at the edge of the boundary for that green, he set himself up to hit the ball back into the playing field. As I continued down the street, out of the corner of my eye I saw him hit the ball – which then bounced back and fell down after hitting a tiny tree that was planted in the median. Oops! He must have been a very poor golfer to not only hit the ball out of bounds, but then try to continue playing the ball only to have it stay out of play. How many penalty strokes does that count for!!
I thought about this poor fellow and his mishaps and then realized that what he was experiencing is something we all go through many times over in our lifetimes. Think about it. How many times are we “off the mark”? We have good intentions. We set our mind to goals all the time. Perhaps we want to graduate high school or college, get straight A’s or even settle for some B’s. We want to get a great job or start a new business. We want to get married, have children, buy a house – the American dream, right?
Then…. LIFE HAPPENS! Indeed, we discover no matter what we may have planned, something comes along and “poof”, our goal is shattered. Whether due to something we had control over (studying, working hard, etc.) or something we had no control over (serious illness, disease, accidents, etc.), those good intentions disappear. We miss the mark. We fall short.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we hit the ball and aim for the goal, we just can’t seem to get there. This could leave to frustration, disappointment, loss of self-esteem or depression.
If we are lucky, we might realize that it is time to readjust our thinking. We need to flex our brain muscle and figure out a new goal, a different game plan. Sometimes God is nudging us to start fresh, to find a new direction. Maybe there is something else we should be doing. Our egos often get in the way of discovering this alternate route. We are sometimes so determined to hit that goal no matter the cost along the way we lose sight of what God’s plan is for us. Other times we become so lost in the quagmire, sinking further and further into the quicksand, we do not know how to pull ourselves out of the sticky goo of our lives.
Rest assured, there is a plan for your life. It may not be the pie in the sky plan. It may not be one where you have all the money to make life grand plan. It may not be one where you have children of your own to raise. It likely does not look anything like the one you have been dreaming of since childhood, the one you had upon college graduation or even the one you thought would happen when you married and settled down.
Life happens. Plans change. Bad things happen to good people. No one is guaranteed to escape this life without some degree of pain and unhappiness.
God has a purpose for you and for me. If you are missing the mark on one of your life plans right now, perhaps it is time to pick up the ball and move it around and look for a new marker. You never know what will happen. Your life could be more meaningful and fulfilling than you ever imagined. Give it a try. Move the ball and try hitting it again! The next shot may be the one you have been searching for!