Excuse me while I catapult to 2021

Now that I have been playing golf for three months, I understand why golfers take time before swinging the club. They do self-talk, like astronauts and pilots checking instruments before takeoff. It’s what I do.

Because if everything else is in place — my distance from the ball, stance, arms close to body. I can trust my arms to catapult the golf club forward to a complete swing.

Letting go and catapulting to 2021 will be my theme again this year. Yes, I said “again.” I have actually been catapulting for a few years now. But there is no catapulting without a hefty backswing. A setback.

A few years ago, I stood banging on the Complaints Window of heaven, endlessly filling out heavenly forms in triplicate about my complaint, explaining to God in fine, logical detail the reasons why I should not have lost a loved one. And that He should kindly give him back. ASAP.

A.A. Milne, author of the children’s classic Winnie the Pooh, had the beloved bear once say “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Some people call it “the gift of grief.” But I do not want this gift. I don’t care that it has a nice bow, and given only to a few. The box is black and I know that inside are two items called pain and suffering. Not fair. I don’t want to play with you anymore, God.

Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale, in their book “Why Suffering: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense,” say the question of pain and suffering provides the greatest challenge to belief in God. They point out seemingly irreconcilable trilemma that believers and skeptics share: 1. God is all-powerful. 2. God is all-loving. 3. Evil is a reality and suffering is pervasive in our world.