Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This past weekend Tom Watson was 8 feet away from the impossible. On Sunday, Watson missed an 8 foot putt that if it had gone in would have secured his sixth British Open championship and his ninth major championship overall. What made all of this seem impossible is that Watson is 59 years old. In fact, he will be 60 in just a few weeks. It would have been an amazing story if the putt had gone in, but even though it did not the fact that he led the tournament all the way until the final hole is a major accomplishment.
As I watched Watson on the final four holes on Saturday, and then on the final three holes on Sunday I thought about what I will be able to do at age 60. What is certain is that I will not be able to compete for a golf championship of any kind at that age. The reason why has nothing to do with health. Who knows, I may be in fantastic shape at that age. The reason why is because I don't play golf now. Tom Watson's ability to compete at age 59 is the result of years and years of playing competitive golf, practicing his swing, and staying in shape. He didn't wake up at age 59 with the ability to drive, chip and putt.
If I want to be in great shape at age 60 the time to begin work on that is now. If I want to play an instrument, excel in a sport, learn a language, know the bible, have the respect of my kids at age 45, 50, or 60 the hard work that is required must begin today. Christian theologian and author Eugene Peterson called following Jesus, "a long obedience in the same direction". I can't expect to know who Jesus is and how He wants to change me overnight, but if I want to be closer to Him at age 60 than I am at age 40 then the journey begins now.