Monday, November 06, 2006

The Goal is to Put the Disc in the Basket

This blog is a tribute to my friend Mike Murrow and the game of disc golf...

Somewhere in a comment, Mike, you wrote that I owe you because you saved my life with disc golf or something to that effect... I know that it was a joke and it has not saved my life literally, however, I think this game has helped preserve my sanity... and for that, I thank you.

I remember when I first met Mike, I was helping him unload his belongings into the infamous dorm 4 of CBC. Among his belongings were many books (such as Calvin's Institutes of Christian Religion), photography equipment, a long-board, and a bag full of discs. When I saw the bag of discs, I let out a bit of a chuckle and said "what are these?" Followed with something like, "cute, a little carrying bag for your discs" (In retrospect, I wish I could take back these hurtful words... hehehe). Mike replied with, "you laugh now, but it won't be long until you're carrying around a bag of discs yourself." I laughed at him, "no, not me!" Well, he was right!

I've fallen in love with this game. Not because I want to win, but because it represents a temporary escape from responsibility and pressure. For me, this game has been about building friendships and exploring life questions without having to have a point or purpose. I don't know why, but people seem more 'real' on the disc golf course. Social distinctions seem to be ignored or forgotten on the course (where else would you find a 'hippie' telling a banker, "you could get more distance out of your throw if you..."?). It's an interesting community and I find myself drawn to it.

To those who take this game seriously, there are always more things to learn and practice; yet to those who've never held a disc, it's a user friendly game. The game can be played by almost anyone and it means different things to different people, but the goal is always to get the disc in the basket.

Now, the parallels that can be drawn between this game and the Christian faith are endless (and probably quite obvious), but I will make the connections explicit.

In the faith, like disc golf, people see it as foolish at first, but once they're exposed to it and become familiar with it, it starts to make sense and the appeal becomes undeniable. Once you discover its appeal, you feel compelled to share it with others. You want people to understand it's not easy, but worth it. The Christian faith is different for people depending on experience, but we all 'aim for the same target' (excuse the pun). The faith should allow us to see past social distinctions and allow us to be more 'real' (though this is not always the case, it is the intention).

Mike has had a profound impact on my life, and (though we joke about it) this silly* game has played its part. Thanks Mike, for introducing me to this game, and for taking the time to show me the "ins and outs" of this game (as well as openly discussing the "ins and outs" of our faith).

I'll leave you with something "Steady" Ed told Mike (Mike, please correct me if I'm wrong)...

"The most important thing is to enjoy the game. So, par is whatever you happen to score that day."

*by 'silly', I'm simply highlighting it's triviality in the big picture... but, don't think I don't take the game seriously... hehehe.


Blogger Mike said...

wow i am sooo honored. yep you got the quote right.

my only claim to fame is i met and played disc golf with the inventor of the game, the inventor of the modern Frisbee, and the inventor of the super ball.

then he died (obviously his life being complete after passing on to me the entirety of the repository of his life wisdom.)

we should write a book about disc golf and the faith. like zen and the art of motorcycle maint. except it would be about Christianity and not zen, and about disc golf and not motorcycles and the title would also be different.

then with all the money from the book deal and the bracelets for the book and the journal and the follow up versions for women, men, husbands, wives, teens, men who masturbate, women who love men who masturbate, solders, leaders guides, and Sunday school classes - with all that money we could get real hot chicks to date us.

like those real cute mormon girls in lethbridge.

also, our success would get us into the cool club over at and we can hang with bono.

then one of us would fall from grace and then write a book about it.

and with that money we could buy back all the books about disc golf and burn them.

9:26 p.m.  
Blogger Lee said...


I'm already working on it... Maybe we could call it "A Purpose Driven Disc" or "A New Kind of Golf" or "Blue Like Candy Pastic"... anyway, let me know what you think.

11:01 p.m.  
Blogger Mike said...

ooh i like the blue like candy plastic.

i was thinking something along the lines of:

a frisbeterians guide to the faith
well i guess that is all i got right now.

12:24 a.m.  
Blogger Carla said...

Hey Lee,

Despite my most recent "abstract" post, I would heartily agree that the real substance of our faith is most often lived out in the ordinary-ness of life. I appreciate the metaphors you explore on here.

And Mike, we don't know each other (so hi!) but your comments are hilarious!

11:06 a.m.  
Blogger Mike said...

thanks carla, if that is your REAL name.

if only i could turn that humor into cash...

like with some machine that takes jokes and turns them into dollars (US dollars of course).

but then canadian $1 and $2 coins are cool.

i used to flip the cushions in starbucks when i was in the great white north and always found enough "change" to never have to use my own money to buy coffee.

what was i talking about?

1:17 a.m.  
Blogger Lee said...

As if you or I ever had enough class to enter a Starbucks while we were deans, Mike... We practically had to beg just to get admitted into the CoffeeTime (and it smelled worse than us).

It's funny you should mention a machine that turns humour into money... I have one. It's sitting in a storage room collecting dust.

Wait a sec... When did my blog comments become a place to meet and mingle? Let's focus the attention back on me people... hahaha

1:43 a.m.  
Blogger hollyannfail said...

I'm a friend of Mike's and we talked about you last week and so i'm checking out your blog and you two are quite funny.

and i appreciate your thoughts on everything from disc to parents to marriage. and britfed.

Peace to you!

7:41 p.m.  

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