Last Friday Tiger Woods apologized. Unfortunately the apology was packaged as an infomercial, staged on a Friday when it was certain to compete with the current PGA tour stop (ironically the Accenture Match Play, one of his sponsors who chose to cancel Tiger’s contract rather than be identified with his moral difficulties). It was an act of controlled communication that seemed to be devoid of true contrition and intent on not making his mea culpa any more painful than it needed to be. It left many a person wondering if anything had really changed inside of Woods that might make them once again truly respect him. Tiger’s approach to an apology didn’t communicate that he respected the sensibilities of his fans or the golfing public. One wonders whether the absence of his wife from the proceedings was saying she didn’t buy it either.
Where I live in southcentral Pennsylvania the talk again was snow. 40 inches due March 7th (I think they said they were quoting the venerable Farmer’s Almanac. We did get 40 inches about two weeks ago. I’m hoping that Alamanac got the date of its prediction wrong. I’m more than a little weary of the abundance of snow. It can’t melt fast enough for me. I want to be on the golf course sooner than later. At the current melting rate, I might not see grass until the end of March. One more snowstorm and I might have to wait until late April to tee off.
In church this Sunday I spoke about conflict resolution. Some of the most difficult people to deal with in conflict are perfectionists. They actually think they live in a world that can be whipped into shape instead of a broken one that needs patient healing. As a result, they create conflict by their unrealistic attitudes and inhibit conflict resolution until they get over their “mad” about the need to deal with problems in the first place. Then there are the people who believe if they ignore a conflict, it will simply go away. They are difficult to deal with in conflict because you have to catch them first.
With all this in mind, I put my hope in Paul’s promise found in Romans 8.28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Tiger may remain unrepentant, but hopefully I will remember that humility is essential to real change. I may have that snowstorm nonetheless, and I will learn to live with the reality that “to everything there is a reason and a time to every purpose under heaven”(Ecclesiastes 3). The things that create conflict are bound to come. I can learn to do what is right in conflict instead of simply what is easy.