The sweet spot

Have you ever had that perfect feeling, where things fall in place and everything just works?

I have, and rarely more often or more powerfully than in playing sports.

Moreover, it’s why I like golf. I know, but stay with me on this even if you think golf is stupid—I promise, this post really isn’t about golf. I haven’t played a round in a couple years now, but I still have that feeling. I usually hit about 100 shots a round—that’s not good, by the way; good players hit 70-80—and most of them are not very good. I’m not a good golfer, and even if practiced and played regularly, I doubt I would ever be that good. But here’s the thing: As bad as I am, I have never played a round in which I did not hit one really good shot. And hitting one good shot is all it takes. The swing feels right, the club hits the ball perfectly and the ball flies exactly where you pictured it would. That’s the feeling I’m talking about. I have never played a round where I didn’t feel that at least once, and it’s the reason I want to play again.

I think this is what they call “being in the moment.” Or maybe it’s a little revelation from God. Or the gift of a special moment. Maybe all of that. But I know that I have scarcely felt as good as I do when I, on those rare occasions, make a really great athletic play. (Ask me about that goal I scored in the last game of my high school career sometime. Hint: It was spectacular, and thankfully there’s no video to contradict my version of events.) Other people experience this feeling in different ways, I know. Maybe it happens in the stroke of the paint brush, or the
crafting of wood, like Doug Stowe wrote about in UU World recently, or in singing that song better than you ever had before.

It’s something like insight, isn’t it? I loved Doug Muder’s article, especially the part about Sappho’s creation of the world glukupikron, “sweet-bitter,” or as we say, bittersweet. It must have been a moment where things clicked in Sappho’s head and something happened. She thought of something nobody had thought of before.

That perfect feeling doesn’t come often enough. Savor it. Remember it.

And pray it comes again soon.

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