I wish I were able to bring you breaking news of the Tide winning its’ second NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. I so badly wanted to write this morning and tell all of you, “that the young lady who served at last year’s Bama FCA Classic, and who went on mission with us to Costa Rica over her spring break, was the hero of 2018 championships!” That would be a great story, but that’s not the way the narrative ends.
Trailing most of the match, Senior, Lakareber Abe won three holes in a row in match play to go up by one, then gave a hole back on #16. As they came into hole #17, her match was tied, and the team score knotted at 2-2! The winner of her match would determine the national championship!
Her drive was good off the tee, but then she hit her second shot. She knew it when it left the face of the club! Wide to the right - her second shot landed in the high weeds above the elevation of the green – thick, up-to-your-knees high weeds – and a ball buried beneath!
The cameras, once filming from a distance, were now pressing in within a few feet. The microphones, intended to pick up the background noises of chirping birds and the whisk of a club swing, were picking up every word being spoken.
Lak’s frustration, after working so hard to get back in the match and give her team a shot, was evident. Her entire collegiate career could end with a ball deep in the weeds!
Yet, when the cameras were the closest and the sound turned up, Lak revealed the character that stems from a growing faith . . . and while she may have lost the hole, she had won at the opportunity to let others see Jesus Christ in her life at a time when she found herself stuck in the high weeds!
Her recovery off the tee on #18 was pristine! Her second shot even better! She would go on to win #18 with a birdie and send the match into sudden death. But a storybook ending would have to wait for another day. Her opponent from Arizona would birdie the first hole and the Wildcats crowned national champions.
When asked what he told his team before the match began to prepare them for the day, Head Coach Mic Potter said, “I told them that this isn’t the most important thing in life. Go play.”
Now, don’t think for a moment that Mic was downplaying the stage that they were on! Lest you be mistaken, Mic is one of the fiercest competitors in the game! The truth is, that winning an NCAA Championship is relatively easy when compared to how one responds when their ball is in the high weeds! And on that front . . . on that stage . . . in front of those cameras . . . Lak won!
When life happens in the fairway it’s fairly easy to navigate, but how will you respond when you find your ball in the high weeds? Life has shown me that those shots never come at the right time . . . rarely, do you see them coming . . . they never give notice . . . but they always come!
In Matthew 7:24-25 Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams arose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
For His Glory at the Capstone,