Monday, April 30, 2012

Bubba Watson Reveals God's Dream For Us...

Talk about a dream, try to make it real.  You wake up in the night, and the fear is so real --Bruce Sprinsteen, Badlands

Upon winning the Masters, Bubba Watson, said “I never got this far in my dreams.” Alasdair Reid reports "Before his final winning 6-inch putt, Watson called for silence and a moment to compose himself. His feelings run so high, so close to the surface, that it wasn’t entirely a joke. Only a month ago, he and his wife Angie adopted their first child, Caleb. Everybody loves Watson, a natural-born blubberer. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, except when they slip down to his wrist."
I wasn’t surprised to see this 6’3” athlete crying or hugging his mama upon winning the 76th Masters, but Bubba Watson’s response caught me off guard. The Masters is often the first tournament mentioned by professional golfers when asked which one they would like to win before the end of their career. Renown for its sheer beauty with pristine, tight links and the blazing azaleas at Augusta National, the Masters has seen legendary performances and as the first of the four majors, it sets a tone for the year of golf.  As  Bubba took the stands, I wondered, Why did this man from the panhandle town of Bagdad Florida who played at the University of Georgia not see the green jacket in his dreams?
Perhaps it is because Bubba Watson never took a formal golf lesson and he never had a private swing coach. "My dad taught me everything I know," Watson says. "It's not very much, but that's all I know."  His advice on how to become a good golfer is to “just play.”

In Sports Illustrated at the Masters: One-on-One with Bubba Watson, Shane O’donoghue asked the same question, but from another angle.  He said "You’re a very creative golfer.  What about visualization?  Did you visualize yourself wearing this green jacket you have on now?"

In this day and age of sports psychology and the practice of visualization as a discipline for most athletes, it was interesting to hear once again that Bubba’s response was no different. “No. As a kid, when you dream about making putts to win tournaments, you never think about after you make the putt.
  You always think about making the putt, waving your hands to the crowd and that’s it.  You never think about the whirlwind after it. Putting on the green jacket—making sure it fits right, talking to people, talking to the media. You never think about the excitement and what you’ll do after you win it.   And after I won, I didn’t know what to do.” 

So how did he do it?  I’ve been talking with my seniors about dreams and spirituality.  We watched an excerpt from the late “Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Purusing Your Childhood Dreams."  On an episode of Oprah, he and admits ”The talk isn’t just about how to achieve your childhood dreams.  It’s much broader than that.  It’s about how to live your life because if you live your life the right way, the dreams will come to you.  If you live your life properly the dreams will come to you.”

I think we can make a case that the highest ranked golfer in the United States is doing just that. According to
Power and Grace “When Watson came out on Tour he was so hard on himself, he scared people away with his brooding. As he has learned to minimize the negativity—he credits his wife's steadying influence and being born again in 2004 with altering his perspective—Watson has made deep friendships, which explains why Aaron Baddeley, Ben Crane and Rickie Fowler followed the playoff on foot.”  All golfers know the mental contest; especially on Master’s Sunday is a brutal element of the game.  Bubba may not have had a formal lesson or coach, but the personal adjustments speak to how he is living his life right. Indeed, the dreams have come to him.

My spiritual director once asked me “What is God’s dream for you?”
  I stopped in my tracks and sat up straight. What a beautiful question. God has a dream for me?  Yes, God does.  Our God, who is personal and loving, holds a dream for all of God’s children.  Although Bubba Watson may not have seen that dream until it became a reality, perhaps the Lord, the master architect did.  Alleluia!

Photo Credits Bubba and Mama


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