A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Work Your Way Backwards


It sounded so simple…

I was talking with a friend who played collegiate golf. He is impressive in his shots and patience with those of us who are learning the game. He was telling about a friend of his who is on the professional tour, when he smiled and asked, “Have you ever seen a professional on practice day?” My turn to smile – I have never been to a professional tournament. What does a pro do during the practice rounds.

“While most people visualize a hole from the tee box to the green, a pro will work from the green to the tee box. They work their way backwards.” In other words, they start on the green and take a lot of time learning all the nuances of the green based on where the holes will be during the tournament. Then, they go to the fairway to look at the fairway and landing areas for their approach shots. Finally, they make their way back to the tee box to know what club they need to reach the middle shots.

Great advice for all of us. When we work our way backwards, we start by identifying what the final goal is. Like the terrain of the green, we should be able to visualize the different characteristics of great results in the end. Then, we should be able to state the milestones that will help us approach the end results with the greatest assurance of success. Realizing there are more than “one way to the cup,” we will look at different landing areas or contingencies that could come up along the way. Finally, we look at our starting point and identify what initial steps will set us on the path for a good run at our goal.

Try it! Pick a goal or something you are working on and “work your way backward.” You may be surprised how easy it is to begin when you see it from the end.

One thought on “A Day in the Life of a Pastor – Work Your Way Backwards

  1. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and the things you choose to speak about.

    I started my walk with God two years ago at Grace Family Church. I had met a woman at my job and we hit it off quickly. She was a Christian and I was I guess you could say an apathetic agnostic, I had questions and felt that there was more to life’s journey but always pushed it to the back of my mind. She learned this about me and really pushed me to accompany her to church sometime and see how I liked it, after a few months of making excuses, she brought me to a Sunday service and it’s changed my life. I’ll never forget it, it was the Enjoy Life series on how to forgive others. It was like I was meant to be there that day, as the entire sermon reflected some issues in my personal life with family members. Shortly after I attended a First Step meeting and I’ve been growing my relationship with Christ through your church ever since.

    In August she moved to another part of the state to finish her degree, and she asked me to move with her. I decided to move in December after finding a better paying job there with the same company. In those months though things have come crashing down one after another. The new job turned out to be a total wash, for many reasons. Also my girlfriend and I’s relationship is I believe slowly coming to an end, I think she’s fallen out of love with me. Despite the effort we’ve both put in to each other and our relationship, but I think she’s afraid of coming out and saying it because I uprooted my life to be with her and she thinks I’d resent her.

    I’m moving back to Tampa next week and getting my old job back as they were (luckily for me) never able to find the right person to fill my position. Unfortunately I was more concerned with paying down debt than saving, so I’ll be moving back in with my father while I can get back on my feet. Other than being close to family and friends again, a big positive for me is that I’ll be able to be present at GFC Van Dyke again every Sunday morning rather than on the computer.

    Your post “Swim Lessons” really hit me at a time when I needed to hear it……….”We struggle and wriggle in our thoughts, words and actions. We realize that we “cannot see God’s face.” Where is He? Does He know how much I don’t like this? Does He know that I am working as hard as I can? Does He know that I am drowning? I like the shallows so much more than the deep!”…….I would constantly find myself asking things like why is God letting this happen to me, what did I do to deserve this, everything was going so well? As irrational as that is, I know sometimes how I feel doesn’t make sense in emotionally trying circumstances like these. That post really reminded me that I need to step back and allow myself to push forward to the deep end, and that He is with me even when all seems hopeless and unfair. Even if my relationship doesn’t make it, and I feel like I’m moving backwards by moving back home, He is with me and I can do all things through He who strengthens me.


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