I play golf.
For those who have never played… it seems like a monumentally dumb game. All you do, they say, is hit and follow a little ball all around a course… trying to knock it into a little hole.
Then why is it so addicting to so many!?
People who golf seriously (or do anything seriously for that matter) always point to the core of the experience as… always trying to be better and better. In health, fitness, art, the professions, trivia or any other endeavor, people are really into getting better and better. Often, they say, I am in competition with myself… I want to do a little better than before.
This mentality can transfer over to the spiritual life. When someone is really excited about the life of faith, love, and service… they become serious about, and committed to, getting better and better.
Paul points to this in one of his letters (called the Philippians in the New Testament). This is Chapter 3, verses 10-14… and I have abbreviated it a little:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him… Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. …this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Golf (like all the other things we do for enjoyment) is fun… but it is not, strictly speaking, a worthy goal for life. If we could develop a consistent desire to reach for the goal of growing in faith, love, and service… life itself might become an ‘addiction’ to become better and better.