Tiger Woods just won his fifth Masters. I don’t know what that means except that it’s a big victory in the golf world and now he gets another green jacket. I’m making fun of myself here, not Tiger.
He won the same thing several times when he was in his twenties when his body was in peak condition and his tremendous concentration was undistracted by the life issues that ensnare all of us as we get older.
And Tiger Woods had his issues as he got older: physical injury, severe pain, grief, loss of a marriage, loss of respect, and the loss of his game.
But he kept coming back to play and now he’s back on top. Yesterday, at the age of forty-three, he came back to win the Masters again and the world cheers his victory. I was hoping he would. I’m not surprised that he did because the good ones know how to do that.
Sometimes a person is successful at a young age, maybe too young to appreciate it. He topples and has to fight to get back to what once came easily. But the victory is sweeter and more satisfying.
Ten years ago, I wrote in my pastor’s blog about Tiger’s difficulties and the fact that he wasn’t winning anymore. I addressed the gossipy public with my typical eloquence:
“Butt out,” I said. “It’s none of your business.”
The public raised the young Tiger on an impossibly high pedestal, which was probably a disservice. When he had hard times, many felt justified in saying mean things about him, and that was definitely wrong.
Gossip is still wrong even when it’s about someone famous.
Tiger’s failures and victories are his own. When he was down, he didn’t let me down and I wasn’t disappointed with him although I was concerned about his welfare. And his success is not my success or anyone else’s no matter how big the roaring crowd is. However, I’m really glad for him and I cheer for him.
Tiger Woods still has a lot of living to do. He’ll probably fall and have to get up again a few more times, just like the rest of us. When he falls, I won’t be throwing stones, and I’ll be watching to see him rise up.