The Way of an Eagle
by Bob Darden,
P. J. Richardson,
As a kid, I went to a church that wasn't very evangelistic. It seemed like their message was that you just need to be a good person. At least, as a young person, that's what it seemed like to me. When I got older, church faded a little bit, and I finally quit going completely when I went to college.
In June 1984, I was about 24 years old, and someone asked me to go with them to a Bible church. I said, "sure, that's no problem." After all, I grew up going to church. I had a "religious TV movie" belief in the Bible that if I were to die I'd go to heaven, and all that kind of stuff. But I never really was convicted about God in my life.
But In June of 1984, when I went to that church and heard what Dr. L. Strauss was talking about, I suddenly realized I was being spiritually convicted by the Holy Spirit! It opened my eyes. What he was talking about made me realize, for the first time, that I was not a Christian. I realized, Hey I'm not doing what God wants me to do. Through all those years, I thought I was okay doing my own thing.
So for 6 months I went to this Bible church between tournaments and listened to the gospel. Finally, on November 11, 1984, there was a guest speaker and he gave a great message. He said, "quite simply, you're either a son of God or a son of Satan. You're going to heaven or you're going to hell. There's no riding the fence."
It was just what I needed at that time to make a decision. For 6 months I'd said, "if I'm going to make a decision for God and accept Christ, then it is going to be 100 percent it's not going to be half-hearted. I just want to make sure I know what I'm doing."
And so that's exactly what happened. After 6 months, I finally said, "it's time." And that when I accepted Christ and started growing from then on at Scottsdale Bible Church.
I'd been out on Tour one year, 1982 and then I busted my thumb and got that operated on in September of 1982. I dropped out of the Tour for almost a year and had to requalify. In 1984 I got my card back for the 1985 season. That was about two or three weeks after I became a Christian. But I lost it again and went back to Tour School, got it back, and lost it again. Finally, in 1986, I won the Tour School and that was my last time back. But through the years I've gone back to Qualifying School 5 different times.
At the time, I wasn't married and I didn't have anybody in my life. In 1986 my life was God and golf was my work. I finally met Bonnie, my wife-to-be, at the very end of 1985. When I first met her, I figured she was going to be the one I married, and sure enough, she ended up being the one I married. In February of 1991, we had our first child. Two years later, we had another.
Bonnie was a Christian when we met and she understood my background, and that I had a different perspective on life, and we've really fit together well. It has meant a lot to our marriage and our family and it has been a very good thing.
We've grown in our faith together too. There's nothing like being married to a woman who believes what you believe and really desires to please God in her life. There are so many people who are married to somebody that maybe isn't 100 percent in their commitment and that's hard. I can't imagine it.
When I got married, I wanted to make sure I was marrying the right person. So before I married, I talked to a lot of people first. My desire was to marry a girl who was right with God and really wanted to please God and was a true believer. And Bonnie is all of that and more.
My goals for my family are simple: First, I want my kids to become more godly Christians that I am. And second, my family is to be a light to people in this age of divorce and noncommitment. I want to be able to say, "listen, my wife and are I are committed to each other and our kids. I love my job. And there's nothing wrong with that."
Today, I look at golf as a job. Sometimes it is fun; sometimes it is not as much fun. It's more fun when you play well. Regardless, you have to just grind it out a lot of the time.
I've had a few injuries, but I've never really had a golf injury. We all put our faith in something, I've put my faith in God. If I'm suppose to be playing golf, I will be. I'm at peace with that. While I'm playing golf, I'll give 100 percent to that, and that's what I'll stick to.
You see, I had a bad motorcycle wreck, and that's what cost me virtually all of 1992, 1993, and the 1994 Tour season. I still just trusted God and said, "hey, if He wants me back on Tour, fine."
But because of those years off the Tour, I now feel more comfortable than ever before being out here and witnessing and doing that type of thing.
Still, it was a different time for me. I'd been playing golf since I was 11 years old and all of a sudden, to have 2 _ years off I just took it.
So you never know how long you've got out here. You've got to make the best of it, whether you're out on the PGA Tour or you're a janitor or whatever. Whatever you do, you've just got to be faithful. God hasn't called everybody to be working on the PGA Tour, or to be CEO of a company. He wants faithful people. You don't have to be rich, just faithful. Wherever He puts you, just be faithful.
I've never prayed to win, I've just prayed, "help me to be a good witness and to give it my best shot, Lord. You've given me the skills, and I want to use them for Your glory, whatever the outcome." There are a lot of Christians out here, and I don't know that any of them pray to win.
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