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Never Up, Never In
by Tom Norvell
One of the most frustrating phrases ever heard on a golf course is, Never up. Never in. The statement refers to a putt that never gets to the hole, thus giving it no chance to go in the hole. When that happens, fellow golfers, always wanting to encourage their playing partners, have a variety of descriptive comments (some of which are better left on the green) that are directed toward the one leaving the putt short. Of course this only to help him realize he missed the putt, just in case he was not aware of it. You can usually hear the one missing the putt make a few comments of his own when this happens (most of those comments are better left on the green as well). Yogi Berra (that great Yankee philosopher) said it this way, Ninety percent of putts that are short dont go in. The more standard line, however is really quite simple, Never up. Never in.
As the year 2001 comes to an end I find myself making similar comments about goals I had for this year. Came up just a little short on losing that weight. Did not quite make it getting that book finished. Did not do quite sink that bad attitude. I was close to it, but never did quite find the right opportunity to talk to that guy about the Lord. Never up. Never in.
Oh, I did accomplish some things, and I feel pretty good about those. But, those areas where I came up a little short are the ones that stay with me. Those I almost made it areas are hard to live with. The If only I had... memories haunt me.
Paul put it like this, But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV)
Well, the past years round is over. I missed a few that I should have made. Got lucky (I know Christians dont get lucky they stay blessed!) on a hole or two. Made a few pars. Had a chance for a birdie or two. And on that one hole...man, I nailed it! That one shot will bring me back the next time.
You do the same. Keep playing. Dont get stuck reliving last years missed putts. Its now well into 2002. Get a new score card and enjoy another round. Go after it. Dont leave the effort, the goals, and the dream short just because the sledding has gotten a little tough in the new year!