Much to our dismay, things don’t always end perfectly for us like they do in the movies, and that’s hard to accept.
Especially since you’re the star of your own show.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love sports. I prefer to watch them over television shows anytime, so naturally I watched the U.S. Open over the weekend. I like to root for Jordan Spieth because of his ties to Dallas and because he seems like a humble and likable person. He’s also very talented. As I’m sure you’re aware by now (and if you’re not, then you probably don’t even care), Spieth won the tournament on Sunday. But it was a very close call—he got the win because Dustin Johnson three-putted on the final hole to seal the victory for young Spieth. Johnson missed a putt to birdie and win, then he missed what looked like a simple putt that would have tied it and forced an 18-hole playoff the following day.
For me—and for many others, I’m sure—it was a good to see Spieth capture his second major of the year. For Johnson, however, there wasn’t much rejoicing. You could see the complete disappointment on his face immediately after the missed putt in knowing just how close he was to winning his first major.
Just a little tap away, but his movie wasn’t a classic feel-good ending.
It’s difficult to imagine what he’s feeling, especially knowing that his failure to be able to hoist the trophy will be all over sports media coverage for the next few days. (He might not want to watch SportsCenter for a little while.) He had recently taken some time off from the tour to work on some issues in his personal life, and hopefully he’s turning things around. It certainly seems so on the golf course, though he didn’t get his fairly tale ending to his run at this tournament. It hurts to know that something so tiny could have changed the outcome so drastically.
Well, buddy, you’re not alone.
There are countless times I have three-putted, whether it’s in saying the wrong thing, running the wrong splits, making rash decisions that impact me more than I imagined or a multitude of other things that have left me saying, “If only…” But, like one of my favorite authors Robin Jones Gunn said in one of her Christy Miller Series books, it’s best not to live in the Land of If Only. Three-putts will happen, and there’s nothing you can do to go back in the past and change them.
And our mistakes shouldn’t overshadow all of the great things we’ve done in life. After all, Dustin Johnson didn’t play like garbage throughout the rest of the tournament to put him in such a pressure-filled position. Heck, even Jordan Spieth had three-putted before the 18th hole on Sunday. Those three-putts don’t have to define you, though. You simply have to acknowledge that they happened and then move on to the next hole or the next course and keep swinging.
Truth be told, some of those three-putts happen when it comes to things that don’t matter as much as others. There was a shot of Fox’s coverage when Johnson was walking with his wife, and he was holding his sweet baby in his arms. He kissed him and then let a contagious smile dance across his face—and I hope he realizes how much more of a gift his son is than any championship he will ever win. I know he’s a professional golfer, and so winning is pretty important to him in his career, but none of that has lasting value in the end. But those moments with his son and his wife, those are what matter more. That child will likely look to his father as a hero regardless of how many titles he has behind his name, and the gift of love is a better prize, anyway.
Not every round of golf is going to end how the golfer desires; not every situation in our lives will end the way we hope. As much as we might not like it, sometimes we might find ourselves singing along with Avril Lavigne, “So much for my happy ending…” Good song—sad reason for singing it. The boy doesn’t always get the girl; the shot doesn’t always fall right at the buzzer; the hero doesn’t always ride off peacefully in the sunset; the underdog doesn’t always prevail in epic fashion. But, if we live fully in spite of the obstacles we face and errors we make, we’re able to see what really matters in life: love. Living with hearts full of love and sharing that love with others is so much bigger than any three-putt that might happen or any trophies that are won. Love is so much better.
And love always wins.