Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tiger's Heart

I've had a lot swirling in my head this week so I'll just start here. When I see or hear about people who are angry, bitter, jealous, arrogant, restless or who are engaging in behaviors such as excessive drinking, gambling, casual sex, excess TV watching, etc., I tend to not focus on what is readily apparent on the surface. I am much more interested in the individual and what is driving those feelings or actions. It's too easy to be dismissive. They are just lazy. They're just a jerk. Oh, this person treats me with disdain for no good reason time and time again so I am just going to write them off. I don't need that. You could be right. You probably don't need that. But they probably desperately need you.

When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well, He is very aware of her many marriages and her current living situation. She has come to draw water at the hottest part of the day, likely hoping she wouldn't meet anyone who would confront her or judge her. Jesus has no interest in dwelling on her sin and shame. He wants to offer her healing, restoration and life. He offers water that no one else offers. He looks past the surface into her heart.

So, we come to Tiger. Probably one of the most publicized examples of our time of someone leading a double life. Oh, most of us do in one way or another...things we don't want others to see about us so we do our best to compartmentalize certain thoughts or behaviors to keep them locked away as much as possible. Tiger did this on a grand scale. Some will simply look at all the affairs, the cheating, the lying, the destroying of a marriage and the impact on his children, and never want to hear from him again. Others will look at him as arguably the greatest golfer of all time and eagerly welcome him back to the game...applauding him like he is a cancer survivor as many did at the Masters. But neither really gets at the core of who he is or what is going on inside his soul.

Now, I've never met Tiger. I was actually supposed to go see him golf in Illinois in 2001 when the 9/11 attacks happened and the tournament was subsequently canceled. I used to want to meet him because I really respected the way he competed, trained, focused and pursued a goal. I am drawn to people who reach their full potential regardless of the pursuit in question. Now, I want to meet him for a much different reason. Tiger has had a habit of swearing on the course when he hits a bad shot. More than one TV commentator has had to apologize on his behalf. Seems common, right? Go to a public course on any given weekend and you are likely to hear some swearing. But this is Tiger. "Mr. Mentally Tough." He's not supposed to let things get to him. Now, as he attempts to repair his public image he had promised to try and clean up his act.

It didn't take long before Tiger was swearing once again at the Masters. Was that out of habit? Perhaps. But I am reminded of this verse, "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." (Proverbs 27:19) There is and has been something deeper going on inside of Tiger. A spiritual battle is raging. The occasional outbursts are akin to plumes of smoke or the occasional ash shower from a long dormant, but increasingly active, volcano. You can't hide the struggle forever. His heart is in torment yet no one talks about that. Now, in his second tournament back, Tiger played horribly. Listen to his comments after the first round:

“I was struggling so bad today, I didn’t know which way I was going to go, whether I was going left or right." And that was before he played much worse in the second round. I think Tiger's words about his golf round are adaptable to his life right now. I feel like he is really on the edge...clinging to golf while the rest of his world is crumbling. He plays the Masters while his wife is getting on a plane with his kids and going overseas. You can't find serenity amidst that, and it seems increasingly clear, that golf will hold no reprieve this time around. I pray that he finds Jesus Christ because a Buddha statue will not bring lasting peace.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." - Proverbs 20:5

Monday, April 26, 2010

Any Wonder Why I Love These Guys?

"You can't live for God until you learn how to live because of God."

"What Christ has done for you makes you who you are."

"Where we end up is not who we are."

"Who we are isn't what we have done, it's what has been done for us."

"We're not struggling to be free. If we are in Christ, we are free to struggle."

There is a lot to meditate on there. The third statement is particularly important to me at the moment. I will be back with a blog or two regarding those quotes in due time. But it is late...and a school sweet dreams.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Quit Your Day Job Stephen

Aliens may exist but mankind should avoid contact with them as the consequences could be devastating, British scientist Stephen Hawking warned Sunday.

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," said the astrophysicist in a new television series, according to British media reports.

The programmes depict an imagined universe featuring alien life forms in huge spaceships on the hunt for resources after draining their own planet dry.

"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach," warned Hawking.

Ummmm...Stephen...I think you are reciting the plot of "Independence Day". I will grant you that it was a good movie but perhaps it is best left on the silver screen instead of becoming your "theory" on aliens for an upcoming Discovery Channel episode.

Chandler Update

Some good words from Mrs. Chandler as well...