Editor's Note: This is the first of two articles from author Jermaine Hamwright on living up to our potential.
Playing a good game of golf is not easy. It requires focus and steadfast concentration. You need to know the rules of the game and understand how to use the tools at hand in any terrain.
Mastering golf takes time, dedication, commitment, and a willingness to learn new techniques in order to continuously improve. Played well, golf can be highly rewarding. When you think about it, the game of golf is a lot like the game of life.
Take a close look at a golf ball. What do you see? Hundreds of little dents, right? Each dent is a seeming imperfection. But the truth is that all those tiny dimples that we might consider imperfections are what make a golf ball perfect for its intended purpose. Without them, the golf ball wouldn’t be able to travel as far or as straight. Isn’t it ironic that these strategically placed imperfections are the very things that make each golf ball soar toward its destiny?
If life is like a game of golf, then you and I, my friends, are like golf balls. We have little (and sometimes not so little) imperfections all over. And we lament these imperfections, don’t we? We lament our lives not being perfect. Often we ask ourselves questions that have no real answers, questions like, “Why did this tragedy happen to me? Why am I so different? Don’t I deserve what everyone else seems to have?”
These are the moments when we need to bring to mind the following beautiful words from the Bible (KJV), from the Book of Psalms:
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalms 139:14)
We may not realize it, and we may not know the reasons, but we were made to be imperfect! It’s true. The very imperfections that we lament, combined with every other aspect of ourselves, make us who and what we are. Like the dimples in a golf ball, our dents give us the potential to soar. As the Bible states in the following verse (New American Standard Version):
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
It might not be easy to rejoice in our imperfections. I can understand this. But remember, you were given each and every imperfection for a reason. The whole collection of who you are—the skills and talents, the strengths, the gifts, and yes, the flaws and limitations—can accomplish great things in life. So instead of resenting your imperfections, try acknowledging them. Make the best of them, and use them to soar!
You’re fine the way you are. As in golf, you can certainly learn new things and improve yourself in many areas. But never let your perceived flaws stop you from going after your dreams, your goals, your aspirations. Because it’s these very flaws that give you your greatest potential. And now that you know that, it’s time to G.O.L.F. into your purpose.
Jermaine Hamwright, author of Get The FACTS: Successful Relationships From A Guy’s Point Of View, is a human resources specialist with the U.S. Army with a background in business administration. He has served on several tours including: Operation Noble Eagle 2002-2004, Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005-2006, and Operation Iraqi Freedom 2008-2009.