I’m in a summer ladies’ golf league on Monday nights. Some friends and I have been doing this for a few years now. None of us fore gals are PGA tour quality (the pun is intended as us four gals sometimes need to yell “FORE!” when the ball goes flying haphazardly towards the golfers’ fairway next to us!!). But we enjoy the beautiful outdoors, laughing a lot, talking about what’s going on at home, and celebrating the occasional, “OMG that was an AWESOME shot!!”.
Whether you know just a little about golf, or play it like a pro, you know it can be a bit tricky at times. Golf can be a head game. If a bad shot gets in your head, well, watch out. As it has been said, “As a man thinks, so is he”. Dang. It can make for a bad day on the golf course.
But in our little group of golfing gals is one special soul. No matter how lousy your shot is, she will find and say something good about it. No matter what. You can have the worst shot in history. But our encouraging friend can find the gold in it.
Case in point: I was making my way toward that little teeny hole trying to get that white rolling wonder in, but like Little Red Riding Hood, I got lost in the woods. Yep, I was a bit off of the main fairway (that is putting it nicely). I lined myself up, aiming towards the green. I swung my club with hopes of getting back on track. Well, it went forward alright…hitting a tree, ricocheting backwards, and landing even further back from where I started. Dang. Normally, our encouraging friend would say, “Forward progress!” but she couldn’t even say that this time. What did she say? “Wow, look at how you didn’t hit yourself!” Her comment cracked me up once again.
She always finds the good somewhere, somehow.
One time, one of the gals was up at the tee box. We were all expecting good things as we waited for her to drive it toward the green, as she usually does. She’s a good golfer. The little goal of the hole was about 350 yards away. For us non-PGAer gals, that may take more than a few hits! She took her beautiful backswing, gave it all she had coming down to send it, and… “WHACK!” the ball went only a mere ten feet forward. “CRAP!” she shouted out from the tee box. Dang, I thought. And then, the most cheerful, ringing voice rang from the watching golf cart, “Straighty McStraightster!! Hey, it went straight!” And we all cracked up.
I think “Straighty McStraightster!” is my favorite phrase she has used so far, because in golf it helps a LOT if you can hit it straight.
Interestingly, when she is not there and one of us has a bad shot, we notice she is missing. Maybe that is what is missing more in this world today: encouraging each other. Even when there is so much going wrong, there is the good. Finding the good in someone or something and letting them know about it. That kind, gentle nudge came once again as I thought about my hubby, kids, family, friends, and even strangers.
I am not saying that we should encourage the bad stuff. My friend doesn’t call a bad shot good. She just finds the good in it. I shared with a good friend once that I don’t want to encourage the wrong stuff. He replied, “You mean like, “Way to go bank robber!” I laughed as it became clear that it is pretty obvious what to encourage and what not to encourage.
What if we were the “Straighty McStraightster” in someone’s life? What would the world look like?
We all need straight up encouragement. Let’s find the good somewhere, somehow, and let others know about it.