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Lessons from Tiger

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Pastor Larry Squier - Waukee Christian Church, News Letter

I listened to Tiger Wood’s apology the other day. You could hardly miss it with all the media buzz about it.   It was interesting to hear all the comments and media responses following his newscast; everything from complaints about limiting the people in the room to the stark color of the drapes. A newscaster had some of Tiger's mistresses on to ask them if it was "unfair" that he hadn't said a thing about them. It left me wondering once again if American me­dia types "get it" when it comes to human relationships. I think Tiger taught us a lot about confession, regret, and loss of spiritual direction in that apology and since Lent is a time when we deal with all of those things in our own personal lives; I thought I would share what I learned from Tiger that day.

First of all I don't think it is up to any of us to judge whether Tiger's apology (confession) was sincere enough, or inclusive enough, or long enough.  So what? It doesn't matter. The point is, before the whole blessed world he said, "I am very, very sorry." It takes a big person to admit -when they are wrong.  So what we do as fellow human beings, is except the apology.  Why is it so hard for some people to just accept an apology?

Second Tiger revealed something that has happened to human beings since time immortal.  He admitted that his fame and his successes made him feel as if he was somehow privileged, or above the rules that govern the lives of others.  He used the word "entitlement".  He confessed that he got to thinking he was entitled to his liaisons and lapses of moral integrity.  He then frankly admitted that in this feeling of entitlement, he was wrong.  Have we not seen that happen to people time and time again when they get into positions of power, influence or fame? Somehow their head gets big along with their ego and pretty soon they are acting like a god. When they begin acting like a god they often forget about the God; their Creator and Sustainer and Provider of all that is.

The third thing Tiger confessed, is that he lost his spiritual compass, and that he disregarded his spiritual connectedness and thus lost his way.  He confessed that he laid aside his Buddhist upbringing and his religiously moral grounding to live a life void of the presence of a Higher Being. He was like the Prodigal in Jesus' parable that left the Father until one day when he “came to himself” and realized what he had truly left behind. Tiger also admitted that part of his hope for recovery and renewed life was in keeping close to his spiritual self.

These are all tremendous lessons for us.  How important it is when we've made a mistake in our lives to apologize (confess) especially to the people we have hurt? How important it is not to think so highly of ourselves that we think we are above all others and no longer subject to the ethics of the rest of the human race? Humbling ourselves we need to recognize our mortal nature and turn to that which is immortal and eternal.  How when we lose our religious grounding and forget our moral imperatives, we are very, very lost.

I learned some lessons from Tiger. It had nothing to do with improving my golf swing or figuring out what club to use. It had to do with what it means to be human and lose ones way, only to return to where we've been and know that place for the first time.

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