Did you know that golf balls are “cute?” After all, they have dimples! The average standard “official” golf ball has 326 dimples. But why do golf balls have dimples in the first place? I’m putting on my “physics hat” now. The dimples are there to allow the ball to have a greater “lift” when hit. The dimples help the air flow over and around the ball, allowing the golf ball to go higher and straighter than balls without dimples. There is symmetry in the golf ball’s design. The manufacturers of golf balls respect this aero-dynamic specification. Without the dimples, and without these dimples being symmetrical, the sport of golf wouldn’t be as elegant – or as much fun!
So how are golf balls and their dimples related to praying and worrying? As humans, we often have imperfections in our lives. Perhaps we even have dimples that we hate! Even Shirley Temple got sick of her well-loved dimples! These imperfections cause us to feel “unlovable, uncared for, or even ugly. We worry about our imperfections and spend lots of money to try to “hide them.” In other words, we are not in love with our looks, our bodies, our characters. As Christians, we are called to love God, our Creator. When we complain about our nose being too big or our smile being crooked, we don’t think about God who created us. Instead, we focus on what others think about us and what we think we see in the mirror. In other words, we don’t than God for our lives. We complain about the little imperfections we see and forget the bigger picture. We are like a golf ball that wants to be smooth and yet still wants to soar and fly straight. The big picture for the golf ball is that it forgot its purpose. When we complain about our “dimples,” we have forgotten our true purpose.
What is our purpose – “To love God and to love others as ourselves.” We can’t love anyone else if we do not first love God and ourselves. When we see only our imperfections, we are forgetting that we must trust God, our Creator and love Him. That’s an obstacle to our prayer lives! We don’t “feel like praying” because we are disappointed in God and how God made us. We need to stop looking in the mirror and start looking up! We have a specific path God wants us to follow. God made us with this purpose in mind. For me, I had to stop looking at what I cannot do and focus on what I can do. As someone with a brain disease (Moyamoya), I am acutely aware of my limitations. However, most people don’t see what I can’t do and only see what I am doing. They look past my dimples and see who I was meant to be in Jesus! When I look beyond my mirror and start thanking God for every day, then I soar! I have an active prayer life that is rich and full. God empowers me to be the best I can be.
Rev. Bev Hall, pastor of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church, Middleburg Heights, OH