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Seven Days in Utopia

Tonight I watched a charming little movie about golf.  It's part Tin Cup, part Bagger Vance, part For the Love of the Game, a hint of Caddy Shack (I thought there would be a Rat-Fart reference), a little bit of MoneyBall, some of the The Karate Kid (any version) and maybe even some Bull Durham... okay, some of those movies are not golf movies at all, but they seem to fit somewhere into Seven Days in Utopia

It's a film that explores what systematically defines who we are, how that draws us to to do what we do, and to believe what we believe.  Sage advice is given by an aged former golf pro who teaches and preaches about lessons in life and growth through faith using some unorthodox means of tutelage.  

It's about knowing the conviction of our foundation (journaling), how important it is for us to use rhythm, balance, and patience to find feel, calm, and emotional control (fly-fishing); the courtesy and responsibility of being timely so as to not miss out on something (scheduling); how starting with a blank canvas can help us visualize what we'll do before we try to make it happen (painting); that we have respect for tradition, but always have a passion for the truth (going from pitching washers into a hole to sinking putts with a long putter); confidence comes from being prepared for the unexpected (keeping your wits during a free fall of a small aircraft as the engine stalls); and more.

The essence of this story is a man who, while fleeing his crumbling existence, has a turn-about on the back nine, and becomes a seeker again.  He begins to question who he is and wonder where he's going.  It's a tale of confession, repentance, redemption and salvation.  We all have had a shepherd in our lives who literally or figuratively left the flock to find us and bring us back after we strayed away.  

In one scene, as the teacher encourages his student to bury past lies and carry away necessary truths, he says, "Don't thank me.  Thank Him, cause God is all around us, inside of each of us, if you listen, there is the still small voice of truth leading us, talking to us, and telling you that you can see God's face, feel His presence, trust His love."  SFT = See it, Feel it, Trust it (it's a good monogram for life, and a helpful reminder for your ball on the golf course).  We should always hope to leave behind our past sins that marked us, and to step out into the full light of new life.
In closing, there was a nice grace offered in one scene: "For food in a world where many walk in hunger, for faith in a world where many walk in fear, for friends in a world where many walk alone, we give you thanks, O Lord.  Amen."  That's a keeper.

It's sad this little film didn't fare well in theaters, and, that in spite of actual golf professionals appearing in the movie, most golf magazines characterized it as 'simple and trite.'  I feel otherwise. I hope you will check out Seven Days in Utopia.