My dad had this theory about golf clubs when I was growing up.
Try it out on the driving range and you’ll hit it perfect. Every time. Buy it and put it in your bag and you’ll immediately start shanking it in the woods. As soon as the club knows it’s been purchased it loses all incentive for greatness. Like a sports superstar who finally lands a $100 million contract.
The plight of the amateur golfer becomes the constant hunt for equipment that treats you right. That hits the ball straight and long (after all, it has nothing to do with the guy swinging – it can’t possibly be that).
Amidst this endless hunt for golfing perfection, I’ve had one constant golfing companion for the last 20 years. My putter. A classic Ping Eye 2 that was in my bag when Ben Davis won the ’92 State Championship (have I mentioned this before?). I’ve tried a few new putters over the years (there was the belly putter disaster of the late 90’s) but I always come back to old faithful. I’ve guarded her. Protected her. Why?
Because she’s been good to me.
(And probably because I’m a little cheap).
Some revelations are so simple we miss them. In golf, in politics, in relationships, in church…in life…
We protect and hold onto things that have generally been good to us, and we avoid, tear down or throw out what’s embarrassed us or treated us poorly. Pick an area of your life. I bet it’s true.
I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong, it’s just reality. But when we evaluate the validity of an idea, a relationship, or an institution solely based on our personal experience, it robs us of any objectivity or ability to see life through someone else’s perspective. Our experience becomes truth. Our encounter becomes everyone’s encounter.
I think it’s wise to be honest with ourselves. Some of us hang on to things we shouldn’t because those things have brought us comfort, resources, or power. Others of us are driven to throw out things that perhaps we shouldn’t because those things have brought us pain, shame, or perhaps unwanted accountability.
I’m not sure either one is healthy motivation. What do you think?