Golf. Hmmmm! I know so little about golf that you may wonder why on earth I even mention golf. I don’t know a birdie from a goose. In fact, I once mistook the sand trap at the Unity Village Golf Course for a meditation garden and slowly, meticulously raked a sacred design in the sand. Here is what I do know. I held a golf club and even took a lesson from a cousin who quickly saw I was lacking patience for such a skill as a mighty golf swing. I know that growing up in Southwestern Pennsylvania my uncles and numerous cousins were golf enthusiasts. My Uncle Ted would venture out to the golf course very early in the day and return home red faced, fuming over a missed shot or a high score – in January - in Pennsylvania - with the ground dusted with snow! I also know that many years later my accomplices and I were shushed off the golf course for giggling too loudly during an Alzheimer’s Association charity golf tournament So why do I mention golf today?
Well, Sunday was the Masters and a couple of people were compelled to let me know that while they don’t miss our celebration service often, they would miss church for the Masters. After the Sunday celebration service, I checked the internet to see who had won and if it was worth missing church. Much to my chagrin up popped a video of Tiger Woods celebrating his first win at the Masters since 2005! I watched as his son hugged him for dear life and I felt emotional. I watched as his mother hugged him long and hard as tears welled up.
It was 2009 when I recall the troubling times that began for the great golf prodigy Tiger Woods. Down he tumbled for the entire world to see, hear and for many to judge. Personal issues, physical injury, and questioning career potential all befell the iconic man. At age eight, Tiger won his first junior world championship and upward he moved from that moment until he could go no higher. Tiger then was in the news for all to see and know of the transgressions of his life.
Yet, Tiger Woods persevered. He never gave up, regardless of the public scrutiny, surgery, or anything else that came his way. Tiger didn’t quit. He did the work that was his to do. I can’t speak about any transformation in the personal and private life of Tiger Woods, only he has the privilege of that analysis. But it’s Easter. How could I miss the irony of redemption? How could I pass up the rising again of Tiger Woods? Many of us have our rising and falling only to rise again story. This is what life is all about.
Easter, calls us to remember that resurrection is here! Resurrection is now. Resurrection is what we all do when we have missed the mark of living our divinity. Rising again is modeled for us so perfectly in the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus long ago and far away. There are many modern-day stories of resurrection to inspire us along the way.
Was it worth missing church for the Masters? I’ll let you decide.