I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but I was drawn into the Masters coverage yesterday in a way that I couldn’t explain at the time. Not normally a big fan of golf, I was mesmerized. But by the time Charl Schwartzel was helping Bubba into the iconic Green Jacket, I knew exactly why.
There was something for this first grade teacher to learn from Bubba Watson. What I took away from watching was simple, but might as well have been a flashing neon sign among the magnolias and junipers. Then again, when you’ve been in the desert waiting to be delivered out from Egyptian bondage for what feels like 40 years, you look for signs wherever they can be found.
Bubba is unconventional. If you watched you know why; if you didn’t you can google him and read about all the ways he doesn’t fit the mold. Observing this reminded me that God gives us the skills we need to get to the platform He desires when we seek His will with all we are. God gifted Bubba Watson in extraordinary ways, but Bubba persevered and honed his skills on his own, using every ounce of what God put in him. He followed God’s way, not the world’s way - the conventional way, and now he has a national platform through which to further the work of the Kingdom. Lessons & swing study (connections, the right net-work, perfect résumé, the right experience…) or not, when our time comes to drive it out of the pine needles, God will make sure we get on the green.
As in any pursuit - sports or otherwise, some are heralded, others not as much. Watching Bubba illustrated that in sports and in life it doesn’t matter what the world rewards, how full of trophies (or empty) your mantle has been, how much you’ve been lauded by those who profess to know. The world may give you acclaim, but that is no indication of your real contribution. On the flip side, when God decides to “promote” you, to fully make a way for your legacy, it won’t matter if you can see the green or not, He’ll get you there. The timing of that promotion, though, is up to God.
Past shots have nothing to do with today’s; our previous success (or failure) really doesn’t have a lot of bearing on our future. We need to learn from our mistakes, but with each new round, each new tournament comes new opportunity; and so it is with each new experience in life.
Watching the Masters gave me hope. Watching the Masters made me believe that my Augusta is out there, I just haven’t found it yet.
And so I wait. Wondering. Watching for what God will do next…believing that He’ll deliver me at some point from the desert, through the pine needles, and out onto the green.