Friday, March 14, 2008

Dreaming the Gospel

Major James Nesmeth dreamed of improving his golf game. To fulfill his dream, he developed a unique method for improving his score during a seven year period when he was unable to even touch a club or step on a fairway. Until he devised this method, he was just an average weekend golfer who shot in the nineties.

During his seven year absence from golf, Nesmeth was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. During most of his captivity he saw no one and talked to no one. It was during the first few months of his captivity that he realized that he must find some way to occupy his mind or he’d lose his sanity and probably his life. That’s when he learned to visualize.

Every day he played a round of golf at the country club of his dreams. Major Nesmeth smelled the fragrance of freshly trimmed grass and the feel of his clubs. He practiced his swing on an imaginary driving range. When he visualized playing a game, he took every step on his way to the ball, just as he would if he had actually been on the course. He didn’t omit a detail. Not once did he hook or slice a shot. He never missed a putt.

Seven days a week, four hours a day, Major Nesmeth played 18 holes of golf in his imagination. After his release, Nesmeth shot a 74 the first time he stepped on a golf course, 20 strokes off his previous average!

In the words of the song from South Pacific, “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?” When we dream the Gospel message of unconditional love, we can “act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God”.* Through Him we can do all things.

*Micah 6:8

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