Smiling through the pain
Gutted for Rory and his clear cut chance in the Masters. With a 4 shot lead and only 18 holes left you could have been forgiven for thinking that he was on his way to victory. But the 10th or was it at the 9th (the trauma has made me block the pain) it all went horribly wrong. This proved to be a nightmare in the American sun and Rory dreams plunged into despair. (photo from sportsportal.org). With the pressure on and the confidence shattered it was a long way back. I would have been delighted if he had lifted the trophy, but what impressed me more was his interview afterwards. The maturity demonstrated there went far beyond his age of 21. It must have been the most difficult interview of his life but he manifested a degree of wisdom and philosophical perspective which may have alluded someone much older. In short, he will use the disappointment to encourage reflection, astute preparation and resilience that only an experience like this can bring.
But is there a lesson here for the Christian, I think there might be. We can often sense the prospects of some Christian achievement. The feeling that victory over a certain sin or the recognition of a certain talent lies on the immediate horizon. Only to find that in a matter of minutes our dreams are shattered and a painful reminder of our human sinfulness or personal inadequacy is thrust upon us.
What will our reaction be to such a disappointment. We could cave in, blame the world around us or even become the eternal pessimist. But like Rory, the bible calls us to soberly reflect upon our flaws but never to become a prisoner of our own disappointments. With God’s forgiveness, strength and grace we simply get back up, learn from our experience and fight our next spiritual battles with greater understanding and resolve. 13/04/2011