Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Life is Like a Game of Golf

This past Father's Day, as usual, I let my husband choose what he'd like to do. I figured that his plans would include a good meal and a long nap, so I was not a little surprised when he wanted to watch the U.S Open Golf Tournament.

We never watch golf. Ever. Plus, we usually keep the TV off on Sundays. Besides, to be perfectly honest, I've always thought that watching competitive golf was a little bit like watching competitive sleeping. For someone like me who prefers football and basketball, golf always seems, well, boring. So, imagine how surprised I was to find that, once I got to know the game a little, it was actually quite engrossing.

For those of you who do not follow professional golf, this competition featured, among many other players, the great Tiger Woods. However, it became quite apparent from the outset that Tiger was not on his game. He was suffering pain from a recent operation to repair a torn ligament in his right knee. Days later, we would find out that he also had two stress fractures in that same leg and had been advised by his doctor not to play. Every time that Tiger Woods swung his club, he had to torque his right knee, re-injuring himself. The pain was so great that he would grimace and, at times, audibly cry out. No wonder Tiger began the game several strokes over par.

My husband wanted to stop watching the tournament right then and there, because he felt that Tiger would never be able to make it through all 18 holes without his game falling apart and Mark can't stand to see that sort of thing happen. But by then, I was hooked and convinced him to wait and see. I'm glad we did.

Watching Tiger Woods slowly gain ground over the course of the game, while enduring both physical pain and the frustration of getting off some uncharacteristically poor shots, was significant. Most people would have become completely demoralized by what he was going through, but he kept plugging along, concentrating on each shot. It wasn't long into this game that I began watching it with two sets of eyes: one towards the game of golf and the other towards the game of life. I couldn't help thinking, as I watched Tiger Woods struggle, how we all have experiences that seem tougher than we are. When people wouldn't blame us for giving up and walking off the course. Sometimes, in look far ahead and taking in all in that is in front of us, we can become so overwhelmed by it that we want to throw in the towel.

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," Christ said. It is enough to focus on the problems of the day, without swallowing whole everything that lies ahead. In effect, we should take life one "hole" at a time.

Tiger Woods ended up tying for First Place with Rocco Mediate. He won the next day's playoff during a dead heat. He played, in total, 91 holes of golf over the four day tournament, meaning that he torqued his painful right knee at least 300 times in order to win. Due to his injuries, the U.S. Open was not the best game of golf he ever played, but he is saying now that it was his most important accomplishment. I agree.

I was deeply moved by Tiger Wood's persistence and determination, his belief in himself and his refusal to give up. It has inspired me to take my life one step at a time, to focus on what's right in front of me, to always try to do my best, and to never, ever give up!




madrekarin said...

What a lovely blog! I found you through Dawn at The Feathered Nest. I am LDS also, and live just south of Atlanta.
I'll be back to visit again!

Fete et Fleur said...

Tiger Woods is a wonderful inpsiration to all. He was amazing in this tournament and he did it in such severe pain. I just visited you daughters blog too. You must be so proud of her!


Lori said...

i don't watch golf either...but i did hear about Tiger's game and yes you are so right, what an inspiration his determination was and a great life lesson as well:)

Gardengirl said...

I have always admired Tiger Woods and he is a great role model. I found your blog and your daughters through The Feather Nest. I'll make it a point to return again.