When I was in college I worked at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. We were located right next to the Sawgrass Country Club where The Players Championship is held each year. (That’s a pretty big golf tournament, in case you didn’t know…) We got to see a lot of very famous golfers and other celebrities come in to eat.
One night, my manager comes up to me and says, “You’re going to wait on Butch Harmon. Lucky Dog.” (Let me add that I knew nothing of golf.) They seated him at my table and everyone around was in awe. The manager got a plate signed. Other waiters were shaking his hand.
I turned to one of my buddies and said, “So who is Butch Harmon?”
He smacked me on the back of the head and said, “He’s Tiger Woods’ golf coach.” (In case you didn’t know, in the late 1990's and early 2000's, Tiger Woods was a pretty good golfer…apparently the best…maybe ever…)
Why does Tiger Woods need a golf coach?
Because everyone, even the best in the world, needs a set of eyes to help keep him from forming bad habits. Everyone needs someone to stand back and look objectively at what is going on and say, “You need to fix this.” Not only do we need someone finding our faults, we need someone seeing our strengths and helping us devise a strategy for our lives.
I don’t know enough about golf to tell you how Tiger and Butch worked together. But I do know in my own life calling, I can point to specific people who “coached” me along the way. Some were in positions where they pointed out my needs for change. Others were those that saw what I was doing and confirmed my callings. Whether it was into marriage, onto the mission field, or into full-time ministry, I had people who were coaching me.
Pastor Bryan preached on this a few weeks ago. How a paralyzed man had four friends who cared enough to dig through a roof and lower their friend to Jesus in hopes of being healed. Pastor Bryan challenged us to have friends like that.
I challenge you again today. Find those people who can encourage, carry, and coach. There is no way that Butch Harmon is (or ever was) a better golfer than Tiger Woods (or Phil Mickelson, or Ernie Els, or Greg Norman, or any of the other pros he coached). Your coach doesn’t have to be “better” than you. But Butch Harmon knows how golf works…
Find a coach that knows the way of life (“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’”). Spend time with your coach and allow him to make you better through the instruction of the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.