UNPACK this

Arnold Palmer’s Legacy

Published on September 27, 2016 | By
With Arnold Palmer passing away at the age of 87 over the weekend, there has been an outpouring of praise from fellow golfers and golf fans in his honor. Arnie will go down in sports history as one of the most beloved and accomplished athletes, and as a legend who will be remembered for what he did on and off the course.  One of the last times I visited my Grandpa Jack before he died, he was watching a Golf Channel documentary on Arnold Palmer. As a big fan who had opportunities to meet him over the years, my Grandpa, along with many other fans, had the privilege of interacting with a man who consistently demonstrated kindness, generosity, and humility. Arnold Palmer was not only a great golfer, but someone who left his positive mark on many. In an article written about him on ESPN.com, writer Bob Harig had this to say: “His connection with the people is what helped make Arnold Palmer to be Arnold Palmer. It was real, sincere, lasting. He looked at you when he waved, smiled earnestly for photographs, signed his autograph like it was the first and last one that would have his signature.” That’s a great picture for how athletes should interact with fans, but how many can actually be described like that? Let's face it, how many of us really connect to others that well? Although we're not being hounded for autographs or pictures, we communicate with people every day. Do we look them in the eye with respect and show them love with a genuine smile? Are we sincere and kind when speaking to those who serve us a meal at a restaurant or ring up our purchases at a store? Arnold Palmer was nicknamed the “King,” yet he was approachable to even the common fan.

The Bible says in Romans 12:9-10 (NLT), "Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."

Arnold Palmer will be missed. He was loved by so many, yet also knew how to love them back. He’ll be remembered by countless people as a great friend, mentor competitor, and someone worth cheering for. Let’s smile today in honor of Arnold Palmer. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray that the way I treat and interact with people would be honoring to them and a good reflection of the love You’ve shown me. I pray I would love others well with a willingness to smile, and look them in the eye while listening to them. I pray I would be genuine and sincere, and not just go through the motions each day. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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