Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jack Nicklaus

It was during my second year in the ministry. I was at a presbytery meeting and, at dinner, I was seated next to a female clergy whose father was a "famous" member of this presbytery. He had been there for years, and was well known for his commitment, his passion, his hard work. But his daughter told a different story.

He was so committed to ministry, that he never made it home for a single birthday celebration. He was so passionate about serving God's people, that every anniversary was spent at some meeting, at some event. He worked so hard, that he could not tear himself away to attend either of his daughter's graduations from high school and college.

I thought about that conversation this morning as I watched an interview with Jack Nicklaus. Certainly the best golfer America has ever produced, if not the best in the world, Nicklaus is playing in his final 'major' event, the British Open. He talked with the interviewer about his golf career, his legacy, the tragic drowning of his small grandson earlier this year, about his decision to "put away his clubs."

Then the interviewer asked, "Over the years, with all the tournaments, all the victories, all the tours, it must have meant you missed a lot of family events." To which Nicklaus replied, "Not a one. I was there for every graduation, every birthday, every anniversary. I never missed a football game or any other school event my kids were in." He intentionally arranged his tour and practice schedules so he would be there for his family.


Now, I know that he could probably afford to charter a private jet to fly home after a round of golf, attend an event, and fly back in the middle of the night for the next day's round. Even so, it would have been a sacrifice to lose time, sleep, and energy to fulfill that desire to see his kids, to see his wife, to be with his family in such moments. He obviously made some choices, along the way, about tournaments he would willingly miss for the sake of his family.

Committed, passionate, hard working -
I think I know who is the better role model.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

No comments: