Sunday, 20 December 2015

The Journey to the center of Me - Part 7

WELCOME BACK to my final post based on the book "Seven Days in Utopia - Golf's Sacred Journey" by David L. Cook. In a series of seven posts I tried to link all the learnings that a burnt-out golfer takes, to motherhood and my own journey as a "once-burnt-out" mom. On Day 7 in Utopia, the golfer will have to confront some "buried lies" and reading this book gave me a chance to do the same. I want you to know that David L. Cook has such a gentle way of leading you to this point, that I cannot help but recommend that you read his book! The much needed knowledge that I have received from this book, has forever changed how I feel about motherhood! My posts might make more sense if they are read from the beginning, so perhaps you want to go back to Day 1. But if you are ready, let's move on and I invite you to walk with me for the last few steps of my own journey, a journey to the center of "me"...

Utopia cemetery
Are we chasing scores to impress others...?
On Day 7 , the last day that the golfer spends in Utopia, he meets with the farmer on a small cemetery. Over the past six days it had become clear that he was struggling, because his golf scores and his self-identity had merged into one and his life otherwise had little in the way of foundations. On the cemetery, the farmer gently explains to the golfer that life, in the end, will be measured by significance, not by a score. Holding a bible, he shares that this most incredible book reveals that someday, we will all stand before our Maker and give an account of our life and he invites him to leave the insignificant habit of "score-chasing" behind and start a new life. All his life, the golfer had believed that his main calling was to be a great golfer and he never considered that he was selling himself short, that he could do more. But this is about to change. In the middle of a cemetery under a shady tree, the farmer shares the gospel message with him, by reading him the story of Simon Peter, a fisherman who had also been driven by performance. Simon, having caught nothing one day, tired and hungry, decided to listen to Jesus and follow his advice and the result was spectacular. He was able to witness the greatest success of his career. In the past, the golfer had been controlled by a need for "performance" and "success" and like Simon, he had somehow lost sight of what it means to live a life of real significance.  At the end of his week in Utopia, he is finally learning that success is only a destination we pass on the way through life, but significance is an eternal calling. By inviting Simon to follow Him, Jesus gave Simon the offer of a life of significance and the farmer was doing the same for the golfer, by sharing the gospel message with him. 

So the Golfer comes to a crossroad on Day 7 and he is taking a new road! On this new road, he will leave his fear of failure behind. His identity will no longer be tied to a game but to God. His purpose will no longer be in scoring in a game, but in a calling that has eternal value, which is revealed in the last chapter of this book. (Don't worry...I won't spoil it, I will let you read it!) But before he leaves, the farmer asks him to do one last thing...to write down all the lies that he has learnt along his journey through life and then, right next to them, write out the truth of God's Word that he had now learnt in the past seven days. These truths would finally set him free. On that day, on the cemetery in Utopia, the golfer buries his lies and though feeling a bit awkward at first, he begins his first conversation with God...

Stop...and consider the road you are walking on...?

There are such awesome parallels to my life in this chapter of the book and I wish I could share it all, but I will try and finish with just a few reflections and I hope that one day you will read this book and enjoy it too. In my last 16 years as a mother, my thoughts were and still are, for the most part, consumed by my children. After all, being a mom is what I do. It has defined me to the point that my performance as a mother and my self-identity have also merged into one and I must say, I was struggling too. I was lacking a good foundation of balance and self-confidence, with the result, that after a "good" day (equaling a good score for the golfer), I would feel good about myself, but after a "bad" day, I would feel defeated and drained. I didn't realize that life as a mother is not measured by how well we organize our day, but by the significant little moments we spend with our kids. I know that now. But some years back, all I wanted to do was being the best mother I could possibly be and although being a mother is an honorable calling, I am now finding out that I have sold myself short. That I too can do more. In the past, I have been controlled by my "performance", always chasing a "good" day but my life was a series of ups and downs and I eventually craved a more steady pace. Like the golfer, I did come to a personal crossroad and I have chosen a new way. A way where I can leave the fear of failure behind and my identity is not tied to my performance anymore, but to God. From now on, I don't want to seek my purpose in how well I do, but in how well I listen to God. From a fictitious golfer in a very real place, I have learnt to live life the SFT way - "See it, feel it, trust it." For me, this means to see His face, feel His presence and trust His love." Not in Utopia, but in a reading chair, placed in a quiet corner in my home, a transformation has taken place that I cannot begin to put into words. I have certainly shed enough tears to fill a grave, but at the lowest point in my life, I have begun conversations with God. In that quiet and private corner of my home, He has helped me to clear all the lies of my past and to replace them with His truth and a brand new hope.

Allow Jesus to step into your boat...!

I am not a preacher, not even an evangelist, but I believe with every fiber of my being that there is a God. In the past few years, I have seen His hand print upon my life over and over and I have felt His presence closer than the wind upon my face. I also believe that He has a plan for my life and yours and that you are not reading this by chance. David L. Cook's book reminded me that it is our job to seek God and listen to His calling for our lives and that He gives us the grace to accept or reject Him - the choice is ours. In the final words of the chapter called "Buried Lies", the farmer adds that the bible says that this new road leads to heaven and that faith is the fuel that will move us from mile marker to mile marker. In other words - nobody is perfect at once! The first step we need to take is to realize that there is a God and that He is calling us to an adventure. Not only the golfer, but us all! The second step will be to ask God to forgive our sins that have kept us from taking this road before and the third step will then be to "get into the boat with the Master" and make Him the captain of our own life. Jesus will help us to push out into the deep water and He will tell us where to fish, no matter what job we are in, even or perhaps especially mothers. The outcome or success will always be in His hands, not ours and the most awesome thing that I have already witnessed myself is that the fear of failure will be removed from our lives! All we have to do is to ask God to forgive us for running in the wrong direction and to lead us down this new road through faith in His Son. If you are in dire need of a change of direction like I used to be...why not give Him the helm of your boat too?

But whatever you decide...He will always love you and I pray that you will have a blessed Christmas and...

...a GREAT WEEK!


 
...but what is wrapped under my Xmas tree has little real value and its joy will 
fade very quickly compared to what Jesus has done for me! I finally get it...!! 
Thank you Lord!


2 comments:

  1. Love this Sue. You bring out some great points. I am impressed with the idea of listing all the lies and adding Gods truths. Great plan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shirley! I followed the suggestions in the book and did it myself...it was an awesome exercise! One of the reasons why I decided to write this series of posts. A follow up will follow soon. :)

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