You Are Not a Golf Course

God was sitting on my stomach. He does that sometimes when we play. Or sometimes I sit on him. But today he was sitting on me. He had one leg on either side of my tummy and was staring down at my face. Then he started to turn red, like an orange-red color and rough. I realized he was turning into a giant hillside of rock.

 

“Is that you?” I said. I was a green lawn. With a shock, I realized that we had turned into a golf course in a very dry place like Sedona or Palm Springs, someplace that a golf course has no business being. I looked, and all around me was the golf course: the putting greens, the fairways, all ringed by the red rocks. Suddenly, a little slide of dirt rolled down from the hillside, scattering pebbles across the green of the golf course. I ran to the lawn and started picking up all the pebbles.

 

God said, “This is me. I happen to you, and your instinct is to come and pick up all the little pebbles that I rain down on the perfection of your golf course.”

 

Then he said, “Robin, you are not a golf course. You are not supposed to be perfect with every blade of grass cut to exactly the same height.

 

Then he said, “You don't even like golf courses! They're not part of the natural environment. They waste water and use too much fertilizer. And the grass is scratchy. They're not even good for walking on in bare feet. You hate things like this!” He paused and gestured over the course. “Tell me what should be here.”

 

I thought for a moment and began to visualize. Waving grasses appeared, swaying in the breeze. I added a few tall cacti, some scrubby little brushes, and tufts of low grass. Then I started to cry. I looked at him and said, “Is this beautiful enough? It doesn't look very colorful.”

 

He said, “Look closer.”

 

I looked again and saw that some of the cacti had blooming flowers. I saw a little colorful lizards running through the grass and some small bunnies. But then I started to cry again. I saw that some of the flowers were wilting and turning brown and ugly and some of the lizards were attacking each other.

 

He said, “Robin, it's not supposed to be perfect. Some flowers are dying, but others are just opening up. There are little animals out there killing each other, but there are also animals being born. It's not all supposed to be the same. It's not all supposed to be beautiful at once. This is perfection in the whole, not perfection in every tiny place. A golf course is not a natural, healthy environment.”

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He gestured again across the landscape. “This is beautiful. You are not a manicured garden. You are a forest. You are a wild, beautiful place that I have made you. Do not try to make yourself into a golf course.”

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