More than ever before, I experience the most serendipitous moments. Yesterday morning I was delighted to receive a FB message from someone I’ve known since I was a teenager. He was one of my sister’s boyfriends from high school. The story he tells, then the story I tell about the story he tells makes more sense when you know that. You have to know this as well – it was almost like a rite of passage for any of our boyfriends to play golf with Dad, if they were serious about dating us.
I tell this story because it’s exactly why I encourage and help people live like it matters. With his permission I share the story in his words:
“Thinking of your dad today and something that happened when we were playing golf one time at Moccasin Bend. My ball was halfway to the green and it was on a bit of a slope. I had to stand “up hill” from the ball and hit a shot about 150 yards. I was terribly afraid that I was going to just whiff and completely miss the ball. Your dad was standing nearby which made me even more nervous. Well… I took a swing, hit the ball exactly as I should, and the ball landed right up on the green and near the hole. I was astonished and almost embarrassed. I laughed a bit, shrugged my shoulders, and commented about it being a lucky shot.
Wayne simply asked “well, that’s where you were trying to hit it, right? Then it’s not luck.” I often had to remind myself of that through the years and even today when I’m feeling a lack of confidence. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life and it’s always a great feeling to have some encouragement and support when things go well. I see similar struggles in my oldest daughter and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with her your dad’s simple comment to me that one hot summer day in 1988. I hope you and the fam are doing well and I hope you have a Merry Christmas.“
I couldn’t help but smile when I read his message. The smile came from deep inside my soul and glowed on my face. When I got to the office, I was still beaming and a co-worker noticed. He loved the story.
Then I responded to my friend’s message:
“I can’t put it into words how beautiful it is that God would prompt you to share this story with me at just the right moment. I needed this story of my dad today. I’ve never known this story. Not even sure I remembered that you played golf with dad then. This demonstrates what I’ve always believed: our lives matter and how we live them matters. In ways we’ll never fully know in the here and now. Those words said by my dad have meant something good to you for all these decades.
Remember this as you continue to encourage your girls. Our kids remember our words but more than anything they remember the way we live our lives. Do we laugh? Are we thankful? Do we care? Do we seek to repair when we make a mistake or say the wrong thing? Are we learning to love and live well?
Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so thankful for it. From a hot summer day in 1988 to this dreary day in 2022, my dad’s words are still making a difference because of your care and willingness to share. And now your words have made and will make a difference in the lives of others. Because I’m probably going to share this story in a blog post. If that’s okay with you.“
I believe moments like this can only be explained by divine prompting. That would mean they aren’t by chance at all. Now that I think about it, I believe these kinds of moments happen all the time to all of us – we just don’t notice.