Have you ever felt ‘off’? Things you used to do with ease seem to take a lot of focus and effort. Or you are going through the exact same motions as before, but you don’t feel fulfilled like you used to. As much as you try to get out of a funk, nothing seems to get you back to where you know you belong. No matter how many times you try to recreate Unique Life Feels (ULFs), it seems you are not able to feel what you once did.
This feeling reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. The one time all-star golfer, and hero of Savannah, Rannulph Junah (Matt Damon) struggles to find his swing. As his soon to be caddie Bagger Vance (Will Smith) points out, perhaps Junah’s real struggle is with more than the mechanics of his golf swing. Here is the scene from the movie. Here is a partial transcript if you want to skip the clip (though I recommend the clip).
Bagger: See, the trick is to find your swing.
Junuh: What did you say?
Bagger: You lost your swing. We got to go find it.
Bagger: Now it's somewhere in the harmony of all that is...
Bagger: ...all that was...
Bagger: ...all that will be.
Recently, my brother invited me to play some indoor golf and it became apparent I too had “lost my swing”. It was probably unreasonable to think I could just pick up where I left off, but mentally I expected to hit my normal shots. Even though I was out of practice and had not even attempted to golf for the past few months, something inside me expected the best version of golfer to shine through.
There is value in practice, routine, and working to improve. Even in small ways, how we spend our time makes a big impact on how we interact with the world around us. If there is something meaningful you want to maintain or improve in your life, there is a need to make a conscious effort to make it a part of your routine.
This post is about more than just golf though. The title for this post ‘Singing and Swinging’ hit me one Sunday while my wife and I attended church. At our church, we begin the service singing worship songs. On this particular Sunday I felt as though my voice as carrying the tune with some power, the notes flowed steadily as we sang along. Whether the melody or the harmony, my voice was locked into the songs. It felt great to sing and feel so connected to the music!
During the last song, I had a much more meaningful realization. My voice was much more of an outward expression of my spirit than I had realized.
The fact my voice felt connected and ‘on’ was great! The realization my voice, and spirit, had been ‘off’ for months was not.
I had been letting my faith wane. Not that I was actively abandoning my faith, but I was certainly no longer in a practice of growing my faith. In some way I had become Rannulph Junuh. I was expecting to stay filled with faith, even though I had not been making faith a priority. I believe the religious term for this situation is that I had become a sloth, not putting in effort to maintain or grow my faith.
As I stood in church and thought about how pure and connected my voice felt, I could not help but think of another clip from “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. In this scene, Bagger is explaining “the field” to Rannulph Junah. Here is partial transcript if you want to skip the video clip (although I recommend the clip).
There's a perfect shot out there trying to find each and every one of us.
All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us.
Where everything that is becomes one.
You've got to seek that place, with your soul, Junuh.
Seek it with your hands, don't think about it, feel it.
Your hands are wiser than your head's ever gonna be.
Now I can't take you there just hopes I can help you find a way.
It's just you that ball, that flag, and all you are.
During those few months of feeling a disconnect I did several things to try to fill in a hole I did not consciously realize had even been growing. As Bagger Vance explains to Junuh, getting back into my faith did not include a checklist of things to do, but rather involved letting myself go enough to feel connected with my faith once again.
For me, it is no surprise “The Legend of Bagger Vance” is based on a sacred Hindu story about a deity intervening in a warrior’s life to help them realize their full potential. I believe the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us and has the ability to help us all reach our full potential.
Perhaps sometimes the spirit is communicating with us, and we are just focusing on everything except this one thing inside which can lead us back to a fulfilling life. Perhaps that Holy Spirit is always working to help guide our way, and we also just need to “get ourselves out of its way” and let it choose how we can use our gifts to live a fulfilling life. Peace.