Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Journey to the center of Me... - Part 4

WELCOME BACK to Part 4 of my healing journey that I am taking on the fairways of a golf course. David L. Cook in his book titled "Seven Days in UTOPIA, Golf's Sacred Journey" is writing to golf players mostly, but his book has taught me so much about motherhood, that I decided to share some of my thoughts in this series of diary posts. You are most welcome to go back to Part 1, 2 and 3 if you haven't already done so and you will find that I have learnt about giving up control, gaining rhythm and balance and how to paint a picture of what I want my days to be like...all with the help of this book. Today, I want to look at what is more important - tradition or truth? I will spend some time on the putting green, approaching the target. For you, the question might arise as to what the target is and I hope that by the end of this post I will have answered it adequately.

On Day 4 in the village of Utopia, tradition clashes with truth on the putting green. In my childhood "traditions" have clashed with "truth" quite often too or at least that's what it felt like in my heart. Some "traditions" did not make any sense to me at all and so I very much enjoyed this chapter! I hope that you will enjoy it also.

Tradition...
Truth...?
Traditions are "set ways" and that is not always how we wish things to be. In the book, the farmer (he is the teacher, if you haven't been reading my blogs up until now) makes a very profound statement. He says: "I respect tradition, but I have a passion for truth." Oh, how I can relate to that!! He goes on to explain that tradition seems to generally have a vicious grip on most people and that golf is a game where tradition is sacred too. But the farmer wants the golfer (his student) to come away from the way he has been putting and try something completely new. He wants him to approach the target "face on". Golf is being played sideways on the fairway, but according to the farmer, when it comes to putting, you ought to be looking straight at the target while you are making the putt. But the golfer is nervous. He has never played golf this way before. Traditionally, putting is also done sideways. He tries and he is rather speechless when he succeeds, over and over again. This new method seems so much easier! It is simpler and more successful. But when the farmer challenges him to use this new method in a real tournament, he hesitates. He is suddenly unsure as he is afraid of what people might think of him, if he uses such a revolutionary putting method back home. Mostly, he is afraid that he might be laughed at, but he also realizes that he has become comfortable with tradition and that he has also become somewhat stuck in his "comfort zone". Tradition seems to be a great place to hide. Sometimes we don't want to try something new, because we are so used to the old. The farmer elaborates, that in a game of golf, most of the time the ball is hit "side-on" because it needs to be hit far. Golfers have become so used to standing "side-on" that when they approach the hole, they just carry on that way. They putt, only glancing at the hole, when it might be more beneficial to be standing face-on with both eyes on the target. So the farmer asks the golfer a crucial question: "Is it tradition you seek or truth? Is it excellence or acceptance?" These are two questions I have also faced on multiple occasions in the last few years and my answer is and will always be - truth! In a world that is now so incredibly rushed, we rarely slow down enough to question tradition. Take Father Christmas for example, a long standing tradition and a great photo opportunity for any mom with a cute toddler like mine. (I would like to add that ALL toddlers are cute of course!) But my daughter (now much older and more courageous) was petrified at the age of two of men in red suits and a white beard, so I made a very simple decision - no photos with Father Christmas for her! Tradition vs. truth...I prefer truth and I don't want to force her into anything for the sake of tradition. To make that decision, though, I had to slow down and observe what was actually going on.

Facing my ball with both eyes on the target...
We live in a busy world and even as moms or perhaps especially as moms, we are rushing from appointment to appointment and most of the time we just seem to be glancing at each other "side-ways". New habits, such as social media and cellphones also seem to be starting to have a grip on us, just look at a bunch of teenagers getting together nowadays! You will know what I mean. I believe the new "Word of the Year" among German youngsters is "Smombie" which describes the merger of humans and smartphones, a Smartphone Zombie or Smombie! Can you believe it? We are starting to merge with those things?? And then there's the issue of multi-tasking which we sometimes seem to be taking to an extreme. With the result that I know more women now with anxieties or some kind of stress reactions than women that have inner peace. What a crazy world that we seem to be living in! I have been watching other mothers for quite some time now and I try to learn from those who seem to remain focused despite the mounting pressure in today's world. There seem to be very few moms who get it "right" but those who do, I believe, are the ones that keep their eyes on the target while they are performing their daily tasks and chores. I believe we are moving our kids down a "fairway" every day, but when it comes to putting, at the end of the day, I always hope that there is enough time to be with them "face-on". My aim is to raise my kids to know God. Not only hear of Him, read about Him, but know him. That is my target. Now, I can make a putt with a side-ways approach but it will probably take longer, so what I need to do is spend time with them and with God face-on. Spending loads of time with God is the most beneficial thing I have done in the last couple of years! "Start the day with God, finish the day with God and in-between speak to Him as often as possible" - that is my simple new rule and the result...has already been spectacular! Quiet time with God has already brought an incredible amount of good changes in my life. But my new approach to life is so different from what it used to be and so totally against any traditions in my childhood years that I could not easily share it with others up until now. I come from a country where tradition and acceptance is everything. Daily conversations with God would be frown upon. But tradition is no longer everything to me. Truth is what is beginning to set me free and I love this new kind of freedom!

In the end of the chapter "Tradition vs. Truth" the golfer makes a radical change and breaks with tradition and so did I. I don't glance at God anymore, He is my target! Over 2000 years after Jesus was born, it seems to me that most people have forgotten how to approach the target - with honest conversation and an open heart and mind. Instead God is only glanced at sideways or not at all. The golfer was challenged to start a putting-revolution...the outcome of which you will see when I get to the end of the book. But for today...I intend to start a quiet-time revolution! Join me, if you like, in this new way of living! If, like me, you have spent enough time in the "bunkers" or "sandpits" of life, then reconsider the questions from the beginning of this post one more time: Is it tradition you seek or truth? Acceptance or excellence? From my side I will just add: Is it busyness your heart seeks or quiet time? I would love to hear what you chose in the comments below and I hope you will join me for Part 5 in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, take some time off from the fairway of life and...

...have a happy "quiet time" and a wonder-filled week!



2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the thought-provoking image of standing face-on to the target Sue! I'm enjoying this series. Shirley Corder from Build a Better Blog - Helpful hints on blog-building from A to Z.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Shirley! My next post will be out soon. ;)

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