A Journey in………perseverance Par 5

 

The moment I first saw this picture of PGA Professional Dustin Johnson, I was elated for him—elated for him because his winning of the 2016 U.S. Open was the culmination of a quest he had been pursuing since 2008.

dj-2016-us-open-3                     

                                     Dustin Johnson after winning the 2016 United States Open

                                        Credit Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports, via Reuters                      

The winning of a PGA Golf tournament is to say the least challenging. To win one of the four professional Golf tournaments, conducted world wide that carries the prestigious descriptor “Major” is a very big deal. To wear the title Champion in any “major” provides that champion immediate and lasting gravitas in the eyes of his player colleagues as well as the golfing public in general. The majority of all Professional golfers never achieve “major” winner status throughout their entire career.

When I looked at Dustin’s picture, a second time, I was struck by what the camera had captured on his face. What I saw in his expression was the look of a man who has just emerged from the pit of hell victorious and still not sure it’s true.  Is this a correct interpretation of the look on Justin’s face?  I don’t know but here are things I do know about DJ.  He has kept grinding week after week, month after month, year after year through the heartbreak of close loses in multiple “majors” earning him the moniker “best player in golf never to win a Major (…until June 19, 2016 in his 29th appearance in a major).

Spotty play, some brilliant, some not, including bouts with substance abuse and a self imposed six month hiatus from the tour to address “personal issues” in his life and the birth of a son in 2015 have all been contributors to the face I see in the picture. All that and he still has managed to be one of the few players on tour  to have won at least one tournament every year he has been on tour and his recorded career earnings through the end of 2016 were are in excess of $39 million Dollars. 

At this point I have to ask myself why should you or I care about this story of Johnson’s perseverance?  My simple response is that I care because it is advisory as to how I choose to address the ongoing challenges I face daily, weekly, annually and yes, for a lifetime.

To me, Dustin’s story, both public and private, is one of perseverance—the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” *  His picture reminds me of the not so pretty struggles and the occasional victories that comprise my life and the demand that I remember…all that has gone before is now history. I can ignore it, or grow from it, but I can’t get those back and rewrite history. Advisory, to me, is that learning from my yesterdays takes daily practice and perseverance, whether I want to practice or not.

While my profession is not golf, I face the same general challenges you or Dustin Johnson face. Think about it. We all face family, financial, career, social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual challenges daily.  Each of us is different in how we address those challenges but it is undeniable that they are there. I am challenged to look at and honestly review my response and behavior in each of the areas I have listed. How well am I persevering in each of these areas or do I even care? Do I face them head on and work through them? Or, do I put them in the tomorrow, next week or some time in the future basket?

I am confident I need to pay closer attention to the amount of integrity I exercise at the moment of choice, meaning I need to monitor my willingness and perseverance to deal with the most important things at any given moment.

This I know for sure. The task is much too large for me to handle alone. It is definitely a journey, not simply a group of events strung out one after another. I need the help of family and friends and most of all from my Maker. For me, it takes a significant amount of perseverance and teamwork, by all involved, on a daily basis.

So I start each day with a simple reminder planted deep in my heart…”This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NLT) and then I strive to pay attention to what is most important at any given time.

Just a couple questions:

On a a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the highest, what grade would you give yourself in each of the areas listed here regarding your level of perseverance or dealing with the most important things at any given time?

Family__, Financial__, Career__, Social__, Intellectual__, Physical__, Spiritual__

If you see anything you don’t like what will you do to address that/those areas?

 

 

(By way of explanation, there are four recognized “major” tournaments contested annually across the world, (1) The Masters  in Athens , Georgia, (2) The U.S. Open, conducted on a rotation of different top quality U.S. golf courses, year to year, (3) The (British) Open, pride of the British Isles and uncontested home of the game of golf, hosted on a rotation of testy rugged courses across Great Britain, and (4) The PGA Championship, also played on a variety courses and course types across the U.S. on a year to year basis.)

*Merriam Webster Dictionary

 

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