Deck Cheatham

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton.

“Death stops the body’s work, the soul’s a journeyman.” Natasha Trethewey, American Poet

Mondays belong to golf professionals, journeymen in a game resistant to permanence. While the rest are tightening their focus for Monday morning, bracing against the stress and dread, the golf pro is downshift-ing, breathing, releasing a long sigh of relief.

Monday is his day off, zigging as the world zags. And what do Mondays mean?

The day contains small, contrived and common meanings lumped into all those preconceived notions about time away – rest, family time, free time, time to be yourself and recreation or better… re-creation. But every Monday gathers unto itself this journeyman and nudges him gently into the long realization about lies embedded in preconceived notions. Truth is, there are no Mondays. There is only time. And the only expiration date on any journeyman’s time is eternity, if, as Kierkegaard says, “one strives to will one thing.”

We cannot master what we cannot control. Time knows not days or weeks or years. Mondays do not exist nor Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. How, then, can we see through time, past the days, to will one thing? How does the Divine enter? Can we master the one thing? And what is this one thing?

We live life to answer the question. We wish to overcome our yester-days, to silence our internal, self-conscious dialogue and to move toward better. But, maybe, the one thing is not subject to our mastery, elusive to our nature. After all, as my friend Tom says, “We’re all failures.”

Who can overcome that?

This elusive could be something we receive, not attain, though we are not exempt from trying. It could be in partnership between our will and the One who wills us to see. Seekers do find what God reveals.

It took a lot of Mondays to become my own best friend. It took a few more to overcome those preconceptions and the constant, doubting in-ternal dialogue. It took a bit of listening when I asked why? Somewhere along the way, I received my answer. Every Monday since, I’ve spent my time as any other day ending in why — striving to will one thing.

I’m suggesting that to will is to ask, and to ask means to strive, and that means to seek. The good book promised me I would find. Truth be told, I discovered finding is seeing. And what I saw did not startle me. Seeing allowed me a long sigh of relief. And what did I see? I saw the one thing.

What was the one thing? The one thing was opening my heart and mind to God. Opening to God meant there were no days, only time and eternity through which my soul journeyed and listened to the long reali-zations God meant for me to understand.

Death shall surely stop my body’s work, but by opening my heart, my soul journeys on.

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com