My first trip to Augusta National was in 1982. I remember it vividly. When you first walk in the gates and make your way around to the Number 1 Fairway, it simply overwhelms you. You don’t have to be a fan of golf to be fascinated by the scenery. It is the most beautiful landscape of golf in the world. And no, that is not an overstatement.
Tickets have been in my family since my dad was young. He grew up in Thomson, Georgia, which is right down the road from the hallowed grounds of Augusta. Over the years, I have never grown tired of being there in early April. I’ve never once thought, “Ok, I’ve seen the azaleas behind 13 enough now.” Never.
This past week during the tournament, I took a walk by myself for a couple of hours. My dad and my eleven year-old son stayed back and parked their chairs behind 16 green.
As I walked around the course, I found myself processing memories of the many different things I experienced having gone to this tournament for 30 years.
A wide range of emotions for sure.
I smiled and even had a few tears flow as various memories came into my mind.
When I was making my way back to number 16 green, I stopped 50 yards short of where my dad and Sam were sitting. I watched them for a couple of minutes. They could not see me. It was during this time when I thought of this verse:
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
The Masters has been an amazing experience for me over the past 30 years because of who I have been with while I’m on the course. My best memories have come from being there with friends and family.
I smiled because God has been good to me. I have a great family. I have great memories of many wonderful times with my dad on this course.
There will come a day when my dad is no longer with me when I’m at the Masters. My son will be grown and have his own family. Sam and my other children will come to this tournament and I will be waiting on them in Heaven. The course will still be there. Spring will excite the patrons and great golf will be played. The show must go on.
For me, the point is not the golf course or the golf tournament. The point is the family I am with while I am there. Life is short. God took my mind to James 4:14 last week and reminded me to enjoy what we have while we have it. This will be over sooner than we all think.
I encourage you today to let those close to you know how you feel about them. Slow down and smell the roses. Be brave and become vulnerable by telling someone who means a lot to you how special they are.