In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful
The fast of Ramadan has been a part of my life for a very long time. It is a truly blessed time, when people get together, break their fast together, and worship and pray together. It is a month of spiritual renewal and spiritual re-birth. It is a month of physical cleansing, and a chance to break clean from the shackles of earthly life that can turn people away from the Face of the Precious Beloved.
Yes, Ramadan is all these things.
But, it is also a month during which many good things have happened to me. As far back as Field Day in Fifth Grade, I have had a “winning streak” of sorts during Ramadan. During said Field Day, I was fasting that day, and I won First Place in every single event. I still remember getting all those blue ribbons.
Later, during my Sophomore year in high school, a very important track meet happened to fall during Ramadan. I was on the varsity shot put team, and the pressure was on me to perform my best that day. Our team had always won this meet, and it was up to me to throw the shot at least 42 feet for our team to win. Despite my fasting, I threw it 42 feet, 6 inches.
My medical school interview was during Ramadan, and I had many things going against my being accepted. Nevertheless, I was accepted three months later. I took my Internal Medicine board exam during Ramadan, and I scored very highly on the test. So, I have only had good things associated with Ramadan, even if I am deprived of my precious cup of coffee in the morning.
Thus, it was only natural that I thought last Wednesday’s hospital golf outing would be a glowing success, seeing that it also fell during Ramadan. Sadly, however, it was not to be the case.
True, I have not had the chance to play a lot of golf this year. True, I have not been able to practice the lessons my golf instructor had taught me. True, I am a doctor and not a professional golfer. But, come on, this is Ramadan: miracles happen during this month.
No such miracles occurred on the golf course. From the very first tee shot (which skipped into the creek to the left), the outing was an unmitigated disaster. Most of my tee shots hooked to the right, and when I tried to compensate for it by aiming to the left, the golf ball would go straight and end up in the bushes/trees/rough/sand. My chips became chunks, with the golf ball going only a few feet in front of me. And don’t ask me about my putting.The rules said that if I had not finished before 8 strokes, that I should put an “8” on the score card and move on. I think I lost count of the number of snowmen I had.
One would think that, given the holiness of Ramadan, that my Precious Beloved’s creation would help out…like the trees. Absolutely not. Whenever I would try to shoot through the trees or even next to the trees, they would either kick my golf ball down to the ground or make the ball ricochet to some far off place. It was as if they said to me, “No you didn’t!”
“But,” I would say in anguish, “this is Ramadan! We worship the same God!”
They were not sympathetic.
And, Oh my God, it was hot that day. I mean, I was riding in the golf cart! Still, I was very thirsty at the end of the day. Furthermore, I had to watch the person driving the “drink cart” drive right past me MULTIPLE times, all as my golf-mates were able to quench their thirsts. I would not even try to look at the “drink cart,” so as I am not tempted to ask for a Diet Coke.
Yup, my Ramadan winning streak is over. I guess this means that my golf game is so bad, that not even the month of Ramadan – with all its blessings, peace, love, mercy, and reward – is enough to fix it.