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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Playing Golf at Fort Carson's Cheyenne Shadows

When asked where I play golf in Colorado Springs, I respond, “Cheyenne Shadows.” Actually, I play wherever I am invited to play, but Cheyenne Shadows seems to top the invitation list.
Located on the Fort Carson Army Post, near the base of Cheyenne Mountain, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course is accessible only to those who pass through security at Gate 5. Presenting my driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance is a required procedure, as is the ritual of popping the hood of my car, opening the doors, and lifting trunk lid.
After clearing security, I pay a modest green fee at the clubhouse, meet my buddy, and together we load our clubs onto a golf cart and fall into a line at the first tee, where we are often paired with young soldiers. Before long, we tee off, and the adventure begins. Although Cheyenne Shadows is a military course, we don’t hit our golf balls left, right, left, right, left, right—at least we try not to.
The other day, two young soldiers—one from Pennsylvania and the other from West Virginia—joined my buddy and me. They had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and will return to Iraq in six months. Neither soldier complained about having to serve in Iraq, and neither soldier said he wished for an easier life.
Just a gentle reminder—Christians are soldiers—soldiers of the cross—yet many of us want to serve God only as advisers. A far-too-prevalent attitude seems to be, “I’m not available for any ministry that involves personal hardship or takes too much of my time or runs the risk of being unappreciated and unrewarded.” Such soldiers are what C. T. Studd called, “chocolate soldiers.” They melt when the heat rises.
One soldier’s golf game fell apart at the fifth hole, and he became so frustrated and discouraged he retreated to his golf cart and pouted. Only the tactful encouragement of his soldier buddy persuaded him to resume play at the eighth hole. I’m happy to report the despondent soldier played well once again.
Another gentle reminder—soldiers of the cross can become frustrated and discouraged. Some may become so discouraged they drop out of Christian service. However, we can encourage them to “get back into the game.” A pat on the back works far better than a callous rebuke.
“Let us encourage one another,” Hebrews 10:25 admonishes. Let’s spread encouragement around wherever we Christians interact with one another. As soldiers of the cross, we need to buddy up in our constant conflict with evil.

copyright 2007 James Dyet

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