If you mess with Momma… Par 5 (Part 2) …a deeper look…

Pictured below is a dramatic exposure of the raw yet beautiful par 3 6th  hole of the Jack Nicklaus designed Golf course, “Cabo Del Sol.”  Redesigned and opened for play in December 2010, it is a sight to see…and…can be a fright to play if one does not apply a complete suite of golf accoutrements, including, in addition to ones clubs, a practiced swing, solid head work to assess the constantly changing seaside playing conditions, the creativity to envision a successful shot and then the courage to implement that shot.  If you botch any of those components, from club selection through swing finish, you will end up “messin’ with Momma.”

Golf Photo - Cabo Del Sol 1 -4

In my last post I used the expression, “mess with Momma” as a metaphor, intending to put a descriptive handle on “the powers that be” in our lives and how we choose to respond to those powers, many of which are  seemingly beyond our control.

For context, let me explain.  During the early formative years of my life, my “Momma” was the most powerful, influential person in my little world.  Lovingly authoritarian—not necessarily an oxymoron—she lavished me with love and attention while at the same time being ever consistent in her promise to consequence my misbehavior.  To be fair, however, she never failed to give me a weather forecast of “a storm brewing”—which I could avoid by altering the course of my behavior—with no course alteration, the storm of her wrath arrived as forecast.  Hence the expression, “If you mess with ‘Momma’, you’re gonna get a slap.”

I think of Momma’s caution frequently as I navigate my way around a golf course.  There’s a lot of “slaps” to be had out there—just as there are in life.  There are forces at work everywhere that I am cautioned to avoid.  For instance I know that keeping my ball in the fairway and out of the rough is a good idea. It is a good step to a better score.  Hazards.  Hazards are called hazards for a reason.  We know they are there and, if we are applying a modicum of wisdom, we try to avoid them.  Sometimes we heed the caution; sometimes we “mess with Momma.”  Whatever the case may be, the not so subtle reality is that we always get to endure the storm or fair weather of our play.

 I have been playing golf now for almost fifty years—not necessarily good golf, but a lot of it (smile).  On any particular day, however, when I consider all twenty-four hours I’m given; I spend only a fraction of that time on the golf course.  I spend a much larger portion of my time playing out the rest of my life.  I tell myself that life is so much bigger and more important than the game of golf.  The question that begs is: do my decisions, followed by my behaviors, reflect my assertion?  Am I as attentive to the cautions sent my way about life as I am about those that present themselves in my golf game? 

I have had to ask myself: Do I see and shoot for the  fairway of my life, or do I just step to the tee, hit and hope?…    Do I see, and appropriately address, the rough areas of my life?…    Do I listen to that inner voice that sounds a warning to avoid the hazards ahead?…    Do I even know where the hazards are in my life—habits, addictions, indiscretions, infidelity, the dark side of social media, pornography, how I treat my tax obligations and more?…  Do I heed the “out of bounds markers” or do I flirt with them?…   When I make a mess of things and find myself  “out of bounds” do I step up and work at putting things right or do try to excuse or explain away my behavior?…   Are there areas in my life where I absolutely know I’m “messin’ with Momma” and keep on “messin'”?

I find this sort of introspection telling and painful.  I also know it is absolutely necessary for the improvement of my “Life Game.”  Just as in golf, I’ll  never know what needs fixing in my life until I get a handle on  what’s NOT working.

How about you? Do you find yourself, in any way, “messin’ with Momma”? Got any fixing you need to do?  What’s your plan?

One final thought— this post is very special to me in that it comes through the lens of six decades of personal, and sometimes painful, experience.  Fom that experience I have drawn three conclusions:

  1. When I’m  “messin'”, I almost always make a mess—that I then get to clean up.
  2. When I’m “messin'”, I’m ALWAYS “messin” with my Maker!
  3. My Maker (God) does not expect me to be “mess-less”  He does expect me,  as an adopted member into His family, to mess less.  He expects  me to diligently pursue the transformation He has initiated in me.


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