Challenges Like This

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

The iconic legend Arnold Palmer died recently and for many there has been grief over losing one of the best golfers and even better persons to have lived and played the game.  I remember a story told by Arnold Palmer on himself that was told to be a true occurrence.

Arnold Palmer was invited to speak before a convention of blind golfers.  He asked the golfers how they were able to determine in which direction to hit the golf ball.  One of the golfers explained that his caddy starts ahead of him with a little bell that he rings as he stands near the hole.  The man explained that he then hits the golf ball in the direction of the sound of the bell.  Mr. Palmer then asked how well this technique worked.  To which the blind golfer replied, “It works like a charm.  In fact, if you’re willing to play a round of golf, I’d be honored.  And just to make it interesting, I’ll bet you $10,000 I can beat you with a score lower than your score.”  Palmer was flabbergasted.  “Ten Thousand dollars, are you certain you want to risk that much money?”  The blind golfer assured him that he was willing to take such a risk and the deal was struck with a handshake.  With that Arnold Palmer asked, “What time do we tee off?”  The blind man answered, “Oh, at our usual tee time, midnight!”

Often I think I might play a better game of golf in the dark.  It is an interesting and challenging game.  Some days I play the game.  Then there are other days when the game plays me (like a fiddle!). 

It is interesting the things that challenge us in life.  And for most of us we know the feeling of being drawn into a challenging hobby or game just to see if we can conquer the task.  However there are far greater challenges in life than a hobby or game.  These are the challenges that shape us and direct us.

Jesus came embodying challenge.  The Beatitudes for example are full of challenge.  It was Jesus who said, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sister, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”(Matthew 5:46-47)

Challenges like this of Jesus are hard to hear and even harder to do…much like trying to hit a golf ball (and then find it) in the dark.  But if we are swinging with power from on high and listening to the sound of God’s voice…it’s amazing what will occur.  Fore!

Always Thinking,


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