Thursday, September 02, 2010

Living your faith

Faith is not just a declaration of the attributes of your God, if that is what your faith is based on, but a system of behaviors devoted to something greater than yourself. Living your faith is not just attending services regularly or mouthing words, but behaving in accordance with its precepts. This is true whether your faith lies in God, Gods, or simply the greater good of mankind.

Zack Nash lives his faith. Zack, a 14 year old freshman at Waterford Union High School, is an amateur golfer of considerable promise. On Aug. 11, he won the boys 13-14 age division at the Milwaukee County Parks Tour Invitational, a tournament for accomplished juniors run by the Wisconsin PGA Section. While talking to his mentor, the club professional, afterwards, he discovered he had violated a rule- he had been carrying one too many clubs. He hadn't used the extra club, but that wasn't the point; the rules said 14 clubs, and there were 15 in his bag. Had he discovered this during play, he could have taken a four stroke penalty and still finished second- but he hadn't; and that meant that he had signed a fraudulent scorecard at the tournament.

There was only one thing to do: he returned the medal and disqualified himself. It would have been easy to rationalize keeping it- it's a picayune rule, and he had gained no advantage from breaking it. But to Zack, you either play by the rules, or you don't. He plays by the rules.

I have no idea what Zack's faith is, whether he believes in God, or Man, or Golf. But his beliefs are devoted to something greater than himself, and he lives them. It's my belief that the world is a better place thereby. The full story is at The Journal Sentinel Online

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