The Day on the Golf Course
Continued from yesterday…
One day, while contemplating this challenge to know the truth, I was reminded of an incident in 2004 in the outskirts of Toronto. I was convinced at the time that I knew the truth, so even though I struggled with thoughts of worry, fear, shame, guilt, and a plethora of other debilitating emotions, outwardly I appeared to have it all together.
Looking for direction and clarity over whether to accept an offer that would require uprooting my family and move to a different city, I decided to play a round of golf. I went to a course that I knew would not be busy, and booked a tee time when no one else was around.
Standing with my driver in my hand on the first tee box, I noticed a gentleman by himself, sinking his putt to finish the first hole, almost 500 yards away from me. I deliberately took my time on that first hole—he could get a head start on the second hole, safely ahead of me, and there would be no pressure to play with him (which I did not want to do).
About ten minutes later, I arrived at the second hole tee box and noticed the same man sitting on the bench waiting for me. He asked if we could play together. Everything within me wanted to say no, but that would be rude, so I reluctantly agreed. And then I thought to myself, “If I’m not getting any time for quiet reflection on the golf course, at least I can preach to him and get him converted.”
For the next four hours, I shared what I believed with him. But something strange happened while I was bombarding him with my “wealth” of knowledge regarding what I thought to be the truth. His manner of speaking was so different than mine.
His beliefs didn’t really match mine, but yet he possessed qualities that seemed to be missing in me. There was such a peace, patience, joy, kindness, compassion, generosity, and love about this man that I was completely taken aback.
How could he manifest these attributes if he didn’t share my beliefs?
It wasn’t that he stood against what I believed, but his relationship with the infinite was not based on a set of intellectual beliefs. There was just something that made him so alive—something that went beyond all thoughts and mental constructs.
I left that round of golf confused and bewildered because with all my pedigree and ability to skillfully present what I believed, it felt like this man made a greater impact on me than I did on him.
To be continued tomorrow…
Adapted from Section 1 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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