Spirituality of golf! Can there be such a thing?
I am not an avid golf player so please do not misunderstand this blog. However, I do enjoy playing golf. As a sport it is great exercise, both cardiovascular (from the walking) and weight resistance training (from swinging the clubs). Most sports activities will give you a sense of release and rejuvenation after a good work-out. So does golf. But there is one thing that golf has the potential to do for you: it helps you meditate.
Perhaps it is the environment in which the game is played – luscious green grass, tall trees, rolling hills, sand – this sort of environment is so conducive to meditation and reflection. The first breath of fresh air in Hole 1, even before the swing, can have the effective of releasing stress and making you think, “Isn’t God’s creation beautiful and magnificent!” From that moment onwards, and probably for the remaining 17 holes, with each surrounding changing with the hole, thoughts about God’s and one’s existence can easily enter the mind. Some even say that golf is like life: it has all the ups and downs like life, and, it is unpredictable like life!
Spirituality is such an illusive thing. It is hard to grasp it; it is hard to measure it. Sometimes you can be intentional in having a “spiritual” moment, like prayer time, but other times it can happen spontaneously, unexpectedly. Something can trigger your inner thoughts to help you reach deep inside where you come to sense a fuller understanding of your existence, especially in relation to your Creator.
For me, golf can have that effect. Whenever I have the opportunity to go out on the course I can’t help but say to myself, “How beautiful is God’s creation! Thank you, God, for these peaceful, awe-inspired moments! I am truly blessed!” Ironically, the exercise is not the main thing; it kind of becomes the secondary side-benefit. Sometimes, the main benefit of golfing is the inner spiritual “exercise” that comes unexpectedly as you hit a tiny ball through the green fields of God’s creation.
I am not pushing golf. I think everyone has a different view on the sport. But whether golf or something else, it is such a blessing to be able to experience something which leads one to God. Whatever that might be for you, if you haven’t experienced it enough, continue to seek after such spiritual experiences. As Jesus promises, “Seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be open to you.”