This morning I found myself walking around a golf course at 8am. It was 43 degrees and I had no golf clubs with me. Strange I know, but let me explain. . .
Yesterday I played a round of golf with my brother and father. It wasn't my best round, but it was far from my worst, so I couldn't help but be fairly pleased as I was walking off the 18th green. When I set my bag down by my car, I realized that one of the pockets toward the bottom was unzipped. I looked through the pocket to see if all the items I had placed in it were still there. My stomach sank as I realized that my (fairly expensive) molded earbuds were missing. Since I hadn't had time to put them away after leading worship at church, I had placed them in my bag.
So that's why this morning I drove back to the golf course just after the sun rose. I checked in with the pro shop to see if anyone had found the missing earbuds in the black and red pouch they were encased in. No one had, so I took off for the course to retrace my steps. I was almost positive I had lost them on the back nine, so I walked to the 10th tee, replayed yesterday's tee shot in my head, and started walking the same path I had the day before.
By the time I had reached the 18th tee box I had walked almost two miles, but I still hadn't found the small black and red pouch I was looking for. Negative thoughts were leaking into my head and the dam I had erected to keep them out was about to break, but I kept walking and kept my eyes focused on the ground in front of me. As I was approaching the 18th green, I let out an audible gasp. There it was! I broke into a jog, picked up the pouch, and unzipped it to make sure the earbuds were still inside (they were). I then walked quickly back to the pro shop to share my victory with the man and woman I had talked to earlier.
As I was driving back home, I thought about how much quicker the search would have been if I had started on the 18th hole and worked my way back to the 10th instead. It would have been over in a minute. But I'm glad it didn't happen that way. The longer search taught me the importance of the journey, the benefits of staying positive, and the power of persistence.
I'm still searching for my place in this world in a lot of ways, and maybe you are too. There are many things in many areas of my life that I know I need to improve. There are things that I've lost, or maybe haven't had yet, and I'm trying to find those things. Today was an important lesson that taking the time to look for what you want to find is worth the work.
I'll leave you with the most profound joke I've ever been told. I've long since forgotten who told me this, but the joke itself has never left my mind. I never saw it as a joke in the first place:
Q: Why does the Rain Dance always work?
A: Because you don't stop until it starts raining.