The “S” Word


This Wednesday I heard commentator Frank Deford on NPR talking about our ongoing fascination with Tiger Woods.  The television ratings for PGA tournaments go down when he drops out of contention or is not playing at all.  I don’t follow golf, but it sounds like Woods is little more than an average player, and yet everyone seems to be waiting around for him to become the greatest again.  They’re sure that the collapse of his marriage and the revelation of multiple affairs were the only problem in his game.  Deford was wondering if that’s the case.  Perhaps he’s just not that good anymore.


I haven’t followed the Woods saga very closely.  I quickly lost interest.  (And I have absolutely no interest in whatever’s happening with Charlie Sheen right now.)  But while I don’t know what has happened with Woods recently, I do remember being impressed with a piece he wrote for Newsweek last fall.  Here’s an excerpt:


Last November everything I thought I knew about myself changed abruptly, and what others perceived about me shifted too…My life was out of balance, and my priorities were out of order. I made terrible choices and repeated mistakes. I hurt people whom I loved the most. And even beyond accepting the consequences and responsibility, there is the ongoing struggle to learn from my failings.


At first, I didn't want to look inward. Frankly, I was scared of what I would find—what I had become…Golf is a self-centered game, in ways good and bad. So much depends on one's own abilities. But for me, that self-reliance made me think I could tackle the world by myself. It made me think that if I was successful at golf, then I was invincible. Now I know that, no matter how tough or strong we are, we need to rely on others.


I can’t speak to anything else regarding Tiger, but I appreciate what he has to say here.  This is a pretty good confession.  It acknowledges responsibility; it displays an awareness of the internal nature of his problems; and it recognizes how long he avoided dealing with all them.


But that’s what sin does, isn’t it?  This week we’re going to be talking about the “S” word and how it creates interference when we want to hear God.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though.  In fact, our brokenness is actually one of the best places to start hearing God speak, if we’ll just allow ourselves to listen.