Masters Recap/ Happy Easter!!
As usual The Masters Tournament did not disappoint! Every year there is drama and excitement. I have been to Augusta National several times but have never played it. I have played some of the most famous and notable courses in the US. It always amazes me that there are a few courses in the world that are a clear cut above the rest. Augusta, in my opinion, is at the pinnacle of that list. The reason is not because it’s the most beautiful or the prize if you win, but because of what it demands. The design of the course and the tournament setup is what makes that course the best. For example, during the first round many of the players talked about how difficult the pins locations were and some were in new positions experienced players hadn’t seen before. Yet, Bryson Dechambeau was able to shoot six under that day. Yes the course is difficult but if you play the correct shot and execute it birdies and eagles are possible. I love that! The course and designer lay it all out for you and say, “Here’s the shot you need to hit. Can you do it?” If the player pulls it off then they will reap the reward! But, if they fail or play the wrong shot at anytime the results could knock them out of the tournament.
What a story that Tiger gave us this year! Just 16 months ago he was ranked outside of the top 1,000 in the world and questioning whether or not he will ever play competitive golf again due to the condition of his back. I can’t imagine the doubt, frustration, sadness, and soul searching he has gone through. Many of us doubted his return let alone him actually winning another tournament. However, what we know about Tiger is that when the doctors said that he would be able to play again he set a plan in motion. He put his team together. These were people he trusted and that could help him climb back up to the top of the golf world. I would say that Sunday afternoon the culmination of that plan came to fruition. I would bet that everyone on that team would say that it took countless hours of work, sacrifice, patience, sweat, tears, and perseverance to finish the plan. Simply put, it wasn’t easy. Now Tiger is once again a major champion and at the top of the sport. Incredible……
There are so many things that I could talk about from these stories and the tournament and how they relate to our spiritual walk with God. However, I’d like to expand on the two examples I just mentioned.
First, God is the ultimate designer and You are His “Augusta!” The Bible tells us that we are made in His image. God the Father, the creator of the universe made you in His image. He sees you as his prize creation. Did you know that? Since He created and knows you, He desires to have a relationship with you more than anything. Your heart is what He longs for. He has a plan in place for you and He wants to bless you beyond all understanding and at the same time bring Him glory. It’s a divine design that includes you and me.
John 3:16-17 tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” What do we need saving from? Ourselves. God is perfect and so was His plan. But when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden sin entered the world. God is perfect and cannot be present where there is sin and therefore we have been separated from Him. God’s love for us prevails as He didn’t give up on us. In order for us to have a relationship and be with Him in heaven for eternity God sent Jesus to to save us and to be a sacrifice for our sins. When we confess our sins and accept the gift of Jesus, we become a new creation and are justified in the eyes of the Father. This is the gracious plan that God has created for us. What a great example of the awesome love He has for us. Acts 2:23 says “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” This is proof that God is the ultimate designer as it was always His plan to send Jesus to save us. He loves us so much that only the sacrifice of Jesus would be enough for us to be a part of His plan.
Secondly, Tiger did something that God calls us to do in our lives. Sixteen months ago there is no doubt that Tiger was at rock bottom. Once Tiger received the green light from his doctors that he could play golf again, he put together a team to help him. He found people who had specialized gifts, that he didn’t have, to help him recover and improve. Tiger did not isolate himself and try to do it on his own! Often when we have difficulties in our lives we keep to ourselves. We think that no one cares about our problems or that no one would want to help. These are lies and tricks from the devil.
God wants us to live in community; first with Him and then with others. God did not design us to be alone. He wants us to rely and depend on Him first. Then we need to rely on others that He has put in our lives who are blessed with gifts that we may not have. See God works in our lives through our relationship and interactions with others. We are designed to help and encourage one another, especially in our faith. If you have people in your life right now that encourage and help you be thankful as you are blessed. If you do not have anyone I pray that you ask God to place and reveal people in your life today that can help you.
Lastly, as Easter is a day away, if you haven’t accepted the gift of Jesus in your life I pray that you seek out the answer as to why you haven’t. Ask God the questions you need answers to. He will have all the answers. Jeremiah 29:13 says “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God promises to reveal himself to you when you seek him with all your heart. He never breaks a promise.