My grandfather was an avid golfer. He simply loved the game. I remember thinking when I was a young kid just how great it would be if my grandpa invited me to play golf with him. I actually visualized it often, but I knew that it would be a pain for him. I would be sending the ball all over the place and it would be frustrating for him to watch and try to teach me the game. My grandpa would visit with us often and we would watch golf together on television. I waited for the day that he would invite me to play golf with him.
But the invitation never happened.
My grandfather passed away when I was twenty something. I wonder now what our relationship could have been if we would have played golf together. See, golf was his game. I saw how he came alive watching golf on TV. I wish I would have had the opportunity to watch him play the game that he really loved and enjoy spending time together on the golf course.
I thought about asking him to take me golfing. But I didn’t want to be a bother to him. I knew that he would rather golf with someone who knew what they were doing. The problem was, I was not in the right position to initiate the golf game. My grandpa was. Even though his position was above me he could easily reach down and pull me up to a golf game with him.
I believe that this condition relates to many relationships. I believe that the person in the power position has the more natural path to initiate the connection.
To bring others along and walk with them.
To spend time together.
To share problems and struggles.
To teach and mentor.
To share wisdom and experiences.
Do we seize this opportunity or do we let it go by? If you are in the upper position it’s as easy as reaching out your hand. If you are in the lower position it is much more difficult as you have to get past “the ask”.
I can tell you, in relationships of growth, even the smallest of things can have a significant impact. I am reminded of this every time someone repeats some rather obscure instruction, story or lesson that I gave years ago that I have long since forgotten. I promise you- they are listening and watching. You have a greater impact than you believe. If you want to experience more- reach down. Pull them up with you. They are waiting.
8 responses to “Reaching Down”
That is the best article ever! I am so sorry your grandpa didn’t seize those opportunities to play golf with you!! He probably didn’t even realize that little boy wanted to do something with his grandpa…..but, thankful that you recognize it and seize all those oppoortunities that are put in front of you!!! Love you!
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That is so funny that you would write about this because just this past weekend, watching the Masters, I was reminded of the Sundays that Grandpa would come and sit and eat and watch golf. He was a man of few words but he would explain to me the rules of the game – or give a grunt in response!!! And I think that Kathy is right – he probably didn’t even realize that you would want to play with him. I imagine that if you would have expressed a sincere interest, that he would have made time to teach you the game. Great article Joe!
But, I also should have said that it was hard to talk with him because he wasn’t very approachable or talkative!
I think about how Jesus modeled for us to serve and not be too proud of our skills or position. I think your story reflects that. Serve others. Bring them up as you say. It’s lonely at the top.
Yes- he sure did! I think we forget about position and how important it is in the dynamics of relationships. We must remember to reach out! Thanks for your insight!
Thank-you Joe! I feel like that is what Jesus did where ever he went. So by example we should be doing this with others. It would be a good way to build up the body. Something to think about😊
Your right Susan! And who best to model- right? We forget how hard it is to connect when you are in the lower position. We need to reach out and make it easy! Thanks for your insights!
What a good read. I also remember watching golf with grandpa as we all do. No matter what, when I see golf on TV it immediately reminds me of grandpa. Wish you could have had that game with him.He would have enjoyed it as much as you would have. I miss him and wish I could have spent some more time with him! Thanks for the good read, You always have great insight into life situations. Love ya