Talking about golf and God

Charlie Warner
Argus Editor

Golf is a good walk spoiled-

-Mark Twain

Anyone who knows me or has read my column over the years is probably aware that I’m a golfing nut. I have often said if I could play at least one round of golf each day, the rest of my life, I would die a very happy man.

I have enjoyed the thousands of rounds of golf I have played in my life with many different golfing partners. But the vast majority of the thousands of rounds I have played since moving to Southeast Minnesota three decades ago have been played with Dick and Lu.

Thousands, you ask? Yes, I figure I play at least 100 rounds a year. And when you multiply that by 30 years, well, you do the math.

I’m sure most folks who haven’t been bitten by the golfing bug probably question the sanity of grown men (and women) chasing a little white ball around a grassy course. For me golf is an escape, relaxation, a time to stroll along freshly-mowed fairways (I’m still a walker)  or stand under a magnificent shade tree and contemplate life.

Over the years Dick, Lu and I have had many profound conversations. Usually these conversations take place after completing a round of golf. Luckily our political views are similar, although I am the most conservative of the three. (I’ll bet that’s hard for some of you to believe.)

Recently we discussed religion and just how much of what is written in the Bible is fact and how much are just parables. I opined that the vast majority of the Old Testament stories are just that…stories. There’s probably a lesson there, but I don’t believe Jonah was swallowed up by a whale and later regurgitated out. Nor do I believe that Noah filled a large boat built of gopher wood with two of every species on earth and everything else on earth perished during the great flood.

As we were discussing these Biblical stories, Lu asked me why I was a regular church-goer and donated all the time I do serving on the church council and other functions if I didn’t believe what is in the Bible.

His question set me back a step. After pondering his question, I replied that going to church seems to recharge my batteries. We currently have a minister at the Canton-Scottland Presbyterian Church who weaves some wonderful stories into her sermons. The following is a recent one that had a definite impact on me.

A young boy got home from Sunday school and decided he was going to do what his Sunday school teacher had encouraged him to do.

He went to the cupboard, pulled out two packs of Twinkies and then went to the fridge and pulled out two cans of root beer. He put the Twinkies and pop in his backpack and out the door he went.

The young boy walked down to the neighborhood park where he saw an elderly lady sitting on a bench watching the pigeons. The lady didn’t say a word, nor look towards the boy as he sat down on the bench.

After sitting there silently for several minutes, the boy opened up his backpack and pulled out the Twinkies. He started to open the first package, then turned to the lady and offered her a Twinkie. The stoic woman’s face suddenly brightened, she took the Twinkie and thanked the boy.

The boy then pulled out the two cans of root beer and offered a can to the lady. Again she turned, gave the young boy a warm smile, took the pop and thanked him. For a while, the two sat in silence enjoying the treats the young boy provided.

The two then struck up a conversation. As they visited the boy noticed the woman’s face continued to brighten and her smile grew wider.

It wasn’t long before an hour had gone by and the boy knew he needed to head for home. As he jumped down off the bench, the lady beamed as she thanked the young boy for the treats, the conversation and his company. The young boy nodded, gave a wave and took off for home.

When he arrived home, the young boy’s mother asked where he had been. He replied, “Our Sunday school teacher told us to find God today. I found God in the park.”

When the elderly lady arrived home, which she shared with her son, her son asked where she had been. “Oh, I was at the park.”

“Did you have a good time,” he asked?

“Yes I did. I found God there today.”

Both Dick and Lu had to agree that was a good reason for spending an hour each week in church.

So there you have it. Two of my favorite topics- golf and God- weaved into the same column. Cheers!