A few years ago, my husband discovered golf.
I was mildly amused, but not really interested. I had books to read, after all.
But then he took me along. I just walked the first nine holes with him, but it made a significant dent in my disinterest. It didn’t seem boring when I was in the midst of it. The silence seemed to invite conversation in a different way and the course was beautiful.
Then, not quite by accident, we bought an inexpensive set of ladies clubs on sale.
Thus began what I hope will be a decades-long series of date days and friendly competition between us. On the golf course, I find myself outside, one of my favorite places to be. I am also with my best friend and the guy who’s my partner in all things difficult, tough, and stinky.
Just as Eucharistic Adoration encourages me to slow down and really spend time with the Guy Upstairs, I find that golf challenges me to let go of my imperfections and look at my husband differently.
In the midst of family life with young children, busy careers, and varying schedules, it can be hard to spend quality time together. On the golf course, we have nothing but time.
I have to make time, because a game of golf takes a few hours and the kids don’t come along. I have to let him explain things to me, because I’m still very much a novice. I have to swallow my pride, because I don’t always have the best attitude about my bad shots.
I never expected to find God on the golf course. But there he was, as I was struggling to keep track of my shots and using mysteries of the rosary to count. Who knew I’d see him in the loud encouragement after I nailed a particularly good shot?
I have to prepare to play golf, and the more I prepare and practice, the better my game becomes. It’s not really so different from my faith life, when I stop to think about it.
Many years ago, I took the step to becoming Catholic because of a glimpse I had of God through my involvement with my husband. What makes me want to become a better Catholic is the ongoing glimpse I have of God in my everyday encounters.
On the golf course, as in so many other places where I don’t go looking for God, I find him. He’s waiting patiently, and with a smile on his face. He wants to be a part of my life beyond the pew. Will I let him?
My golf game’s probably won’t ever be impressive. I hope, though, that it continues to be a lesson for me in how I can find God everywhere.
This “Finding Faith in Everyday Life” column originally appeared in The Catholic Times.