We are Earl...
In a 1996 interview with Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith, Tiger Woods' father, Earl Woods said about his son, "Can't you see the pattern? Can't you see the signs? Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. I don't know yet exactly what form this will take. But he is the chosen one. He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations. The world is just getting a taste of his power." Smith added, "Something deeper than conventional stardom is at work here," he wrote, "something so spontaneous and subconscious that words have trouble going there."
This isn’t the first time something of this nature has been said about somebody. It is pervasive in the world. If we're honest with ourselves, we love this language. It's provocative and stirring. It wets our mouth because deep down, our souls long for what Earl Woods claimed his son would do. For someone to come and change things, to make things better. We long for it because what we seek is there, we're just lost in finding it. Why? In the beginning, God placed in mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve, a compass. This compass pointed straight to Him and their union with God was secure. But through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin came into the world and shattered it and us in every way, and it has damaged this compass inside of us. In every heart since Adam and Eve, the needle no longer knows which way is “north”, but it’s searching and trying to balance itself. Albeit broken, the compass is still there.
Don’t be fooled though. Instead of searching for somebody else, most often WE want to be that person in our own lives. We want to be in charge and change the course of our personal humanity. Seven billion people in the world are saying in their hearts on some level, “I am my life’s chosen one. I am in control. I will bring to my life what it needs. Nobody knows what's best for me, than me.” This rebellion against God has had devastating, subtle and visible effects on our lives and in the world. When we’re in charge, our hearts aren't well. Don't be fooled. You're life might look good on the outside, but without a relationship with God in Christ, you're spiritually dead inside (Eph. 2:1-10). In Christ, when God is in charge, make no mistake, our hearts are well.
Earl Woods put those claims on his son, Tiger never put them on himself. But it still reveals something in Earl’s heart. Whether he knew it or not, Earl’s soul was in search of a "messiah". We are Earl. When Earl Woods said those seemingly prophetic words, I did not have a relationship with God. My life looked great, but my heart was discontent, dead and searching. I ate up Earl's words. I was stirred and provoked. I was on the “Tiger train” for the next 12 years, rooting for him to be that catalytic golfer and person with whom to look up to and draw inspiration from. Twenty one years later, Tiger has done much for golf, but he has not done for humanity what his father claimed. He has only proven himself to be deeply flawed just like you and me, and in need of a Savior. Earl rightfully sensed a need for a "messiah" figure, but he wrongfully placed expectations on his son that he, let alone anybody, couldn't bear. Only one man has lived up to the billing Earl Woods placed on his son, only one man could bear the burden of expectations and the weight of the sin of the world upon himself - that one man is Jesus Christ - the name of above all names (Eph. 1:21, Phil. 2:9). In Christ, our compass points "north" again, our union with God is restored and we gain our security and the prosperity of heart our back. Where is your hope? Where are you going for eternal salvation? Where are you going for the "salvation" of freedom and peace in your life right now? Is it in man, yourself, science, technology, drugs, wealth, status, or achievement? Or is your hope in Jesus Christ, the son of the living God (Matt. 16:16), the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)? Jesus gave us the "pattern" in his death - the flesh and blood work of God's ultimate humility and sacrifice for us. He also gave us the "sign" that it was truly Him - the resurrection! Do you see the pattern? Do you see the sign? Where is your hope?