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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Golf and Broken Windows
By Allen Stark


It is nearly seven years ago now. It was my first time playing the Nishna Hills golf course. The first three holes went okay, but I had bogeyed the third hole. As we stood on the tee box, I spotted the next green and commented, “Sure seems like a long way off.” And so as I teed off, I put a little extra into my swing, attempting to pick up some extra yardage. Instead of the ball sailing down the center of the fairway, oops, it took a sharp curve to the left, like a magnet had suddenly attracted it.

Those who have played the course know what structure is to the left of the fairway—a condo unit. I wasn't aware exactly where the ball had landed, but as we approached the condos a sweet little senior citizen lady (I don't use the term 'old' anymore since I just turned 67) was peering at me through her broken window on the first floor.

My father-in-law laughingly commented, “Sure is a narrow fairway. I don't know why they had to build that condo so close to the fairway.” I looked around and was thankful that I didn't have a gallery of watchers or other golfers close by.

Now mind you, the little lady wasn't looking angry or even upset. She simply stood there peering at us as we approached. I walked up to her and apologetically said, “I'm sorry I broke your window. I'll call the glass company and have them come over and fix it as soon as possible.”

She looked at me strangely for a moment, and then finally said, “That is nice of you. This is the third time someone has broken one of my windows and you are the first one to admit it.”

I found her comment very hard to believe but later learned that not everyone who plays golf is honest about such things, or considers it necessary to admit it when they break a window. I wonder if these same people also slice their golf scores a little. Slicing your golf score a little may not hurt anyone, but shading the truth and shirking your responsibilities, especially where sweet little ladies are concerned, I believe, is a poor standard to live by.

I try to live by a higher standard and have learned that in the long run it pays great dividends. It may at times require you to reach into your wallet and pay for a broken window, but as happened in my case, seven years after breaking that sweet little lady's window, I was able to buy the house that has a great view of the third green and the fairway leading down to the fourth hole on Nishna Hills Golf Course. Also golfers are so considerate to hit enough golf balls into my yard that I don't have to buy any.

I encourage you to be a witness to the truth. There may be no judge, jury or lawyers present, but you have been subpoenaed to tell the truth by a higher court. Acts 1:8 says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world” (italics mine). I believe that the words, “in every part of the world,” also includes the fourth fairway of the Nishna Hills Golf Course.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 01/22/10
He who is faithful in little is faithful in much. Thanks for this well written devotional message.
The Masked Truelovers01/25/10
Well written and a good message on how we can be witnesses to the world just by how we treat people and by showing great character in all circumstances.
Joy Bach 01/27/10
Thanks for the reminder that someone is always watching. Good job.