Before my senior year in college at Auburn, our golf coach retired and after several years with a coach I’d known my entire life (I’d grown up in Auburn, too), a new man was at the helm. And everything changed.
He was a fitness advocate, and before we knew it, we (golfers!) were lifting weights, running and doing all kinds of things I didn’t think a golfer needed to do. Keep in mind, this was in the 80s, before golfers were ripped like Tiger Woods.
Our new coach was full of energy and optimism. I’ll never forget waking up to rain at one of our tournaments, looking outside and thinking, “Oh my, nothing but umbrellas and towels today.”
Our team was sitting 9th or 10th in a field of 18 teams; I wasn’t looking forward to five or six hours in a downpour as our team sat mired in also-ran land.
But just as I was thinking we were in for a day of drudgery, Coach Griffin banged on our hotel room door and came barging in with a huge grin on his face.
“This is GREAT!” he told us.
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was so great about a day in the rain.
“It’s moving day,” he went on. “We’re moving up the leaderboard today because I can guarantee you 80 percent of these teams gave up when they saw the rain. They don’t want to be out there in this. They’ll be playing, but they’ve already quit.”
He wasn’t done. “Not us. We’re going to jump over a lot of teams today. Just go out there and watch them quit—then let’s blow right by them.”
Suddenly I didn’t care about the rain. My attitude shifted in a moment and I couldn’t wait to get out there.
You can guess what happened. On that day we were “mudders;” a word used to describe those who seem to play their best in inclement weather. We soared from the middle of the pack up to 2nd place, in one day.
Our coach was right; other teams struggled all day because of the rain. We took advantage and on that day our team began to come together.
When we finished our round, we were soaked but smiling. All because of a coach who saw a situation and interpreted the same facts so much differently than the rest of us.
What about us in the pregnancy help community? When a woman comes in our door for her fourth pregnancy test in 5 years and yet another baby on the way, do we think “rain?” Or, do we think, “Great! This is an opportunity for God to use us to change a life in a way we cannot imagine!”
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When we see Planned Parenthood attack us and belittle our work, are we discouraged? Or do we see God sitting on his throne, turning to Jesus at his right hand with a smile, rolling up his sleeves and saying, “Watch me work and show the world what my people are doing.”
This isn’t about “positive thinking;” it’s about shifting our perspective to see as God might want us to see. The facts are the facts. But how we view those those facts determines more than we might think.
If we perceive a situation negatively, we’re not as perceptive as to how God might—and can—work through the circumstances in front of us.
But if we see opportunity, God can take even a small portion of faith on our part and say, “I can do something here.”
My college and (extremely short) professional golf career wouldn’t appear—on the surface—to have been successful. But, it taught me a lot about perspective.
As we continue our journey to becoming the first choice for those who need us most, perspective matters; because every day is an opportunity to take one step closer to this goal. Even if it looks like rain is ahead.