Temptation is battle that man has had to deal with since the very beginning, just ask Eve who succumbed to it and then dragged Adam along with her. I have no doubt that Eve’s conscience kicked in and tried to stop her, but the serpent was a tricky devil. With the manipulative powers of a mother- in- law he reassured Eve that everything would be okay. When we give in to temptation we are then left to deal with the consequences of those actions. Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden and force to work hard every day to survive. They also left us with sin that was allowed to spread throughout the world and every soul born thereafter would be tainted with original sin. I believe that with every temptation that we are subjected to God gives us chance to not give in. It’s call our conscience, and for the briefest of seconds asks the question, “are you sure you really want to do this?”
The game of golf is a cesspool pool of temptation. There are rules in place that adhere to a code of conduct known as etiquette. You play the course with due respect to the course and to others, that means replacing divots, fixing ball marks, and raking sand traps so the course is playable for those who are playing behind you. When you cheat at golf you cheat yourself and you, yourself must admit to that in some way of form. Playing by the rules is just good common sense, but that doesn’t mean that it comes without temptation.
Let’s say I have hit a nice tee shot into the fairway, I have a mid-iron shot to get me to the green, I pull out my trusty five irons and I hit it flush. The ball launches off the face of the club, while the divot catapults from the ground. The most crisp iron shot I have hit all day, however, I failed to consider the thin tree branch that hangs over into the fairway from the big willow tree that lines the hole. “Crack,” my ball hit the branch square and drops out of the sky, takes a kick to the right, and settles directly behind the big tree. Suddenly, I have no shot, all I can do is punch out. “This is so unfair”, I say, this isn’t right, “I just hit a great shot and I’m going to be penalized for it!” Suddenly I hear a voice and it says, “Just pick your ball and toss it into the fairway, who cares you’re playing by yourself, what’s the difference?” It appears to be coming from the tree itself and I began to agree with it. “If I was playing scramble I would get one club length free relief,” I say to the tree, and the tree seems to nod in agreement. Just as I bend down to pick up my golf ball and toss it away from the tree I hear another voice. “Are you sure you want to do that?” The voice appears to be coming from my golf ball. The ball continues, “If you pick up your ball and don’t count it your round will be tainted. No matter how well you play the rest of the way your round will be defiled because you cheated by the big willow.” “But, if I was play scramble,”- but, you’re not play scramble” interrupts the ball. I look at the tree in front of me, and then at my golf ball, finally I look up to the sky and say, ““All right! Fine! I’ll play as it lies.” I quickly pull a four from the bag and punch the ball away from tree before I change my mind and continue on with my round. That willow tree cost me a good score, however I feel good about not cheating and playing the game with integrity. My score may have been bad, but my spirit is full. Not giving into temptation has its own kind of rewards.