Storm Delay… Par 5

 

It’s 5:37 Sunday afternoon and the final round of the 2014 Tournament Players Championship is nearing its conclusion. Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer—the last twosome of the day—have just reached the fourteenth green. Kaymer, who at the moment is 15 under par, is leading the tournament by 3 strokes over Jim Furyk. At stake are a purse of 1.8 million dollars and a host of other perks that go along with winning the championship.

Golf Photo - Kaymer 2 - Kaymer-847-Cox

       Martin Kaymer’s par conversion on No. 17 – Kevin Cox/Getty Images

While Kaymer seems to be in command of his game and has played brilliantly over the course of the tournament, there is one element over which he has no control and it has raised its ugly head. Storm clouds have darkened the early evening sky and thunder is rolling, but no lightning—yet. He has just four holes remaining to achieve a goal he has worked for years to reach. And then…

At 5:38 the air horn blows, signaling a mandatory delay in the tournament. Due to imminent storms, everyone, players and fans alike, are hustled off the course as quickly as possible. Tournament officials and weather watchers place a 90 min freeze on play and the players head to the locker room or wherever to sit and wait out the storm. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only 90 minutes, but that will take the players into late sunset or early darkness before they finish—if they can finish.

 A lot can happen in those 90 minutes—it’s when the “gremlins” come to play. The muscles can tighten. The necessary focus can wane. Fatigue can become more noticeable. Just the ability to see through the shadows and effectively read the situation with the onset of darkness, will be a challenge. These and a host of other “what if” thoughts can create a disturbing mental stew while one sits and waits.

This story, in microcosm, reminds me a lot how like how “life” feels from time to time. You’re cruising along, life is good, you’ve got your “A” game going, things seem to be rolling your way and all of a sudden the storm clouds pop up and warning signals sound saying “take cover, danger on the horizon.” You get a message that says you gotta take a time out and go see the doc, somethin’ about an elevated PSA level. You see the doc., he says we need more tests and a biopsy. You’re told, “the earliest we can fit you in is two weeks. “ So you sit. And you wait!

You can spend a lot of time sitting and waiting for things that are out of your control.  How do you keep your thoughts, your wits and your game together while you wait? It’s a lot easier to deal with things you know about and are in control of, but, what about those things over which you have no control—like the weather, the sudden heath issue, the whatever, the things you can only guess about?

What do you do when the “gremlins” come to call? Where do you go to find peace and quiet in the midst of the storm while you wait?

I go to the same source I am confident is in control of all. I go to the one who actually calmed the storm over two thousand years ago—Jesus. Knowing that He is in control, I can relax, be at peace and wait out the storm.

How about you? Is there peace or anxiety in your waiting area?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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