I arrived excited for a fun three day get-away. The setting was idyllic and I felt that this was a much needed retreat from school.
Then, I met the man who would be instructing me. And from the start, I was broken.
I was told what I had been doing for years was wrong. That my most basic premises and ideas were incorrect. That the advice parents, friends and others had given me only contributed to this deficiency. He said that if I continued down this path, my body would ache, I would constantly be angry and frustrated, and that things would not be fun.
For 45 minutes, I was broken down to my most basic and vulnerable state. Unattainable rules, in the forms of parables and analogies, kept being bombarded at me, but it was too confusing and too much for me.
And so I left that first encounter having not experienced the idyllic excitement I had expected when I signed up for this trip. I went back to my accomodations reflecting on the instructor’s words. I reconsidered everything I had thought I knew. And I realized, he was right, this old form was not getting me to where I wanted to be.
So the next morning I arrived, tentative and broken, but willing. It was during our second discussion, that glimmers of hope arrived. Things were being rebuilt and occasionally I understood what was being asked of me. It was those moments that made me experience a hope for a transformative future. I saw the potential of his promises.
But as quickly as those glimmers appeared, they would disappear.
So after our second discussion, I was sent out on my own to practice what had been preached. Suddenly being thrown back into the real world, I realized how easy it was to fall back into my old tendencies. The old ways I would do things were luring me; to repeat the activities that had caused me to meet this guru in the first place.
However, when I would take a deep breath, relax and consider the sacred advice I had received, the old would disappear and a better form would appear.
Leading me to par, birdie, par, bogey the final four holes.
Strange how my golf school experience mimics the model of evangelism I learned with Young Life: sin talk, cross talk, and take it home message.