Last weekend was the first Bay Hill Invitational without its tournament host Arnold Palmer who passed away last fall. Beside his banner career as a former major champion on the PGA tour, Arnold Palmer was a sports icon whose fans established an army of followers. Palmer’s passion and vision gave birth to a 24 hour channel devoted to golf, the Golf Channel. This network aired a week of programming to honor this special man by remembering the thousands of people he touched.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.
One of the specials entitled Arnie and Me recounts stories and testimonials from letters Arnold Palmer wrote by hand himself. Despite the temptation to change with the times by sending emails or texts, Arnold Palmer felt letters were much more personal. Thus, in victory and defeat, Arnie spent half a century encouraging the heartbroken and praising the successful. You didn’t have to be famous to receive a letter from Arnie. Nor did you have to be a golfer. Rather, if you touched his heart or was moved to compassion, a letter was sent.
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it,” Habakkuk 2:2.
After watching this show last weekend, a spirit of conviction fell upon me. During my years in college, I wrote up to 100 people during one semester. Yet, the cost of stamps, time and a lost interest caused me to end this hobby decades ago. While I probably won’t restart writing letters, this experience has led me to journal my daily thoughts in this blog. I’m not sure how long this will last or what direction I may go in. Nonetheless, I believe the lost art of letter writing is something you may want to consider if you feel God is calling you to encourage, inspire or touch souls like the countless letters of Arnold Palmer.
by Jay Mankus