Adversity is a severe instructor, set over us by the One who knows us better than we do ourselves, as He loves us better, too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This conflict with difficulty makes us acquainted with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial.

— Edmund Burke

I love golf, and I hate golf. Many find the sport about as thrilling as watching a glacier move. But rightly understood, I think golf may be the most formidable of all our games. Why? After all, aren’t you merely hitting a little white ball with a big fat club, and the ball is—unlike in baseball—sitting still right in front of you?

Yes, but that’s much easier said than done. Here’s why I find golf both challenging and scintillating (and why I sometimes hate it): It’s you against yourself. You are both the offense and the defense. Think too much and you’re likely to hit the ball into the water or the woods. Think too little and you may swing and miss altogether. It’s a mental chess match, and you are moving for both sides. To excel, you must get yourself out of the way, an extremely difficult task.

Christ understood that being a “disciple” was in innermost and deepest harmony with what he said about himself. Christ said he was the way and the truth and the life. For this reason, he could never be satisfied with adherents who “accepted” his teaching—especially with those who in their lives ignored it or let things take their usual course. His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make admirers impossible.

— Søren Kierkegaard

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