The Way of an Eagle
by Bob Darden,
P. J. Richardson,
Sometimes, the only way to achieve a goal is to get out of the way. And the only way to enjoy real success is to stop pursuing it.
In 1994, I stopped playing full-time on the PGA Tour. It was not something I wanted to do at the time. In fact, I felt like a kid, digging in his heels.
And yet, looking back on it, it turned out to be the very best thing that ever could have happened.
Getting Out Of The Way
Golf is such a wonderful game. It's a game in which you have to give up the natural tendency to force things to happen, and simply let go and trust. Whenever I tried to take it into my own hands, to force a shot, or when I thought too much or swung too hard or took too long that's when my game would suffer. The more I tried to control everything, the more difficulty I would have.
Life is the same way. We do best when we get out of the way, when we give up control. We try so desperately to manage things, thinking we know what's best for us. We cling desperately to our dreams and our self-determined directions, instead of simply letting go and allowing our heavenly Father to take us where He wants us to go, and to use us in the ways He chooses.
It's exactly what Jesus meant when He said, "whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will find it." That's what the cross is all about. He died to show us how to live. And everything is turned around. And once we give up, once we "die" to our insisting on having control, then we find out what life is really about.
I've not won the big tournaments. I've not been on the top of the money list. And I don't have the fame or the following that the big-name golfers do. I'm not a superstar.
But I have so much.
I have my family. I love what I'm doing. I'm a full-time golf instructor and a part-time player. And God uses me, in His way, to touch the people I come in contact with.
And I have the great sense of completeness and significance from knowing and following what God has in mind for me. There is no greater joy than that and every now and then, God lets me know that I have the kind of success He wants me to have.
It happened in the 2000 U.S. Open. The last day of the Open was Father's Day. On the last hole, I hit a good wedge shot into the green. The crowd, which had taken to me because I was an underdog, roared their approval. At the height of the applause, my 19-year-old son turned to me as we walked toward the green and said, "You and me. Pebble Beach. The U.S. Open. Happy Father's Day."
By the time we reached the green, the tears were streaming down my face. I stood over my 15 foot birdie putt with blinded by tears of joy. The head of the putter moved through the ball, and I heard it drop into the hole.
I walked off the green with my son, happier than if I had won the tournament.
There is a passage in Jeremiah that says so much, "I know the plans I have for you,", says the Lord, "Plans to give you hope and a future."
And when we finally let go of our insistence on following our own plans, and allow God to work His plans in us, that's when we find success.
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