Since I was a teenager I have loved to play golf. I was never quite big enough or fast enough for most team sports. But golf was perfect for me. You could play alone on the 9-hole public courses I learned to play on. The cost of $2 per round was something I could fund through my allowance or my lawn mowing money. The greens were not very good and the courses left something to be desired but I had found my sport for life as a 14 year old boy.
My inspiration to play golf came from one person, Arnold Palmer. When I was in high school I first shook the hand of the man who was the most popular golfer of my lifetime. He paused to let me take a picture with my dad’s Polaroid camera and he waited long enough for it to develop so he could sign it. Somewhere in my house that picture is stored away with some of my favorite memorabilia.
Today Arnold Palmer passed away at 87. You could tell when he didn’t hit an opening shot at the Masters this year that his life was drawing to a close. But he still displayed the same grace that he showed to a 15-year old kid so long ago. I was blessed to follow him a few times at the practice rounds of the Masters. But I didn’t get to shake his hand again.
What possible relation could this memory of mine have to what we do as Christians? Simply this. One of the most popular athletes of our time took time to wait on a kid’s picture to develop so he could sign it for me. The reason I love golf is that I had a hero named Arnold Palmer. You may have the chance to make a difference in a young person’s life this week. Who knows? You may make an impact for good that lasts a lifetime.