Do you recall moments when you saw or heard something that made your eyes tear up a little or made the hair on your arms stand up? They’re times when something has touched a part of your soul, something that makes up your core. There just aren’t enough of those times.
I’m a golfer. I love the game and believe it is much more than a sport, it has many lessons to teach. I love it so much that I write about it all the time. That’s why one of “those times” came recently after Stewart Cink won the Open Championship (British Open), his first major championship win.
When he was interviewed following the win–still standing on the golf course at Turnberry in Scotland–he could have been popping the tops off champagne bottles and having a fine old time. Instead, he chose to thank God for giving him the ability and good fortune to win. Cink is a devout Christian.
Another example, and the most moving for me, was when Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters Tournament, also his first major championship victory. The Masters is, year after year, the most-watched golf tournament in the United States and one of the most-viewed throughout the world. Much as Cink did after his British Open, when being interviewed after his win, Johnson gave thanks to his Savior, Jesus Christ.
I recall chills then running through me, while at the same time I was deciding I had a new favorite golfer. It also caught me by surprise that someone, in prime time–a celebrity–had mentioned Jesus Christ by name. I then realized that it simply doesn’t happen that often.
Sports cross all national boundaries, appeal to both men and women, young and old. It is so refreshing to see people who obtain the spotlight and a platform with such a reach to unabashedly give thanks to Jesus for everything they have. They almost certainly do more good for the world than they imagine.
It was amazing seeing Jack Nicklaus win his sixth Green Jacket in 1986, and watching Arnold Palmer take his last stroll across the Swilken Bridge at St. Andrews, but those pale in comparison to an athlete giving thanks and credit where it’s due.
Thanks Zach and Stewart for giving me those goose-bump moments.