His Way News and Blog

His Way

Catching Character

They say character is caught not taught.  And unfortunately youth sports have, over the years, displayed some pretty bad character by parents and coaches, who are more concerned about winning or living out their dreams vicariously through their children.  But today I offer you a vision of hope and it comes from the world of golf.

Recently, I had opportunity to attend our local sectional golf tournament.  It seems in golf, like no other sport, a little pressure can erode one’s confidence and performance quickly.  Young golfers, who dazzled spectators on the range and in preparation for this event were shooting their best scores of the year, find themselves crumbling under pressure.  Their coaches are at their wits end with players making decisions they never made all year, as if their golfers had been abducted and were replaced by seemingly alien novices.

As young men who were normally shooting scores in the high 70’s or low 80’s began turning in scores of 90’s and 100’s, there were a lot of deflated expectations.  And yet through the fog of unrealized dreams, there was one young golfer on the worst team in the section whose light was shining brightly.  As a mere 8th grader, he had been the last individual to qualify for the next round.  What a victory for such an unsung team!  What a triumph for such a young player!  What a future!

This young man’s father was not only the player’s golf coach, but a highly decorated professional golfer who had enjoyed an illustrious career on the biggest of golfing stages.  His son was now appearing to be taking his first steps toward golfing greatness.

However there was a question that arose about the score.  It appeared that his score card was inaccurate.  Not that the total was wrong, but that a score was recorded inaccurately on the card.  The coach (father) took the card to investigate.  After replaying shot by shot the entire round not only with his son, but also with his son’s score keeper, it was concluded that his son, in fact, had signed an inaccurate score card.

Having assisted on golf teams in the past and having parented my son through the ranks of junior golf, I can’t imagine the pain of having to turn in your son’s card declaring him disqualified and not able to continue to the next level of competition.

For a father who always wants the best for his son, this dad chose integrity, honesty, and character over winning and advancing.  Though the initial pain must have been great and the drive home long and quiet, I believe there is a son who will one day grow into a man of distinguished character because of a father who put character before winning.

Long before we are raising athletes, we are raising men.  And this father is raising a man of integrity.

Tom Reynolds

Discovering Lasting Joy

A couple of weeks ago, I shot my best golf score at Huntsville Country Club, a 77.  Having finished my round, I couldn’t help but tell everyone.  The club pro asked how my round was and I was glad he asked.  The cart boys heard the story.  The girl who served me a diet coke heard about it.  And of course my wife and son who are both golfers had to hear the shot by shot details of my round.  I couldn’t help but tell everyone I saw.   And some I just called, and they unwittingly picked up only to have to hear the blow by blow recounting of my golfing victory.   I was on top of the world!  There was a bounce in my step.  I was exuding confidence with a beaming smile.

I imagine I was feeling much like the disciples did as they returned from their short term mission effort.  They reported to Jesus their great triumph, “even the demons are subject to us!”  I’m sure their confidence was abundant.  There was nothing that they couldn’t handle, “in Jesus’ name.”  And they felt courageous, conquering, powerful, and fulfilled.  But Jesus quickly brought them down to earth, or maybe even burst their bubble by reminding them where true joy is found.  Jesus responded, “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  (Luke 10:20)

Why is it so easy to let our joy get captured by passing personal achievements instead of lasting eternal positions?  It doesn’t take long for these conquering apostles to once again fall to unbelief and confusion.  It didn’t take long for my golfing prowess to be brought back to earth as I followed up my best round with an 84 and 85.

What if our joy was limited to our performance?  What a roller coaster ride we would live.  But finding and knowing joy as our names are written in heaven is a constant joy with which life’s uncertainties and our inabilities cannot meddle.  It’s an untouchable joy.

Jesus reminds us through the parables of lost things that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7, 10)

Where do you find your joy?  And will it last?

Tom Reynolds