My husband and I love to play golf and play the sport together every week or two. I have been a golf nut all my life and religiously watched the sport on television when I was a little girl. My favorite golfer was Jack Nicklaus, who I later met in the early years of my sportscasting career. My encounter with Nicklaus is one of the only two times in my life when I was speechless!
A few weeks ago; however, golf gave me a critical reminder about the brevity of life. My husband and I were over halfway through the round at our local course when a father and his son asked if they could “play through.” My husband told me to wave them on, so I moved my golf cart over to the cart path and motioned for them to go ahead and hit. I first watched the man’s son drive so I’d know where the ball was going, then decided to take off in the cart to get further out so I would not be in danger of getting hit by the father’s tee shot. I had only traveled a few feet when I felt a blow to my head. I was stunned initially but quickly realized I had been hit extremely hard by a golf ball. The sound of the ball hitting my forehead was so loud that the man thought he had hit the cart. (In his defense, he thought I had moved out of the way already and didn’t see me when he hit his tee shot.) I shouted to my husband on the other side of the fairway, who also heard the loud crack, “Hurry over here, I’ve been hit!” The knot on my head swelled into a very unattractive ball and upon realizing how close the shot came to my temple, I began to cry. Fortunately, the CAT Scan did not show a fracture in my skull or any internal bleeding but the doctor reconfirmed that if the ball had found my temple, it would have been a different story. Two inches was the difference between life and possible death!
This experience was a reminder that each day of life we receive is a gift from God and that we need to make the most of it for we do not know when we will be called to our heavenly home. I have had three near-death experiences like this, perhaps as a reminder that I need to stay the course in my Christian walk. Psalm 90 reminds us, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” If we live each day like it is our last, how much more effective would we be for the kingdom? If we faced Jesus at the end of this day, what would we have to tell him about our actions and thoughts that day? If our life ended today, would we have regrets about our faithfulness or would we be able to confidently walk into the pearly gates, knowing we had given it our all? We must learn to number our days and make every day count for eternity.