Jordan Spieth and the family that cheered him on
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Two weeks ago, Jim reminded me that the Masters weekend was coming up.  That is Jim’s way of saying, “If you need anything done, let me know now.”  He loves watching that golf tournament and I have to admit, I understand.  We went to the Masters a couple of times when we served our church in Atlanta.  The Augusta National is truly as beautiful as it appears on television.  This weekend, Jim watched golf for three days.  I watched the highlights on the news and several of the shots on Sunday.  I’m not a huge golf fan but I made certain I watched Jordan Spieth on the last few holes.

By now you have heard all the statistics.  Jordan is 21 years old, had an amazing score and has a reputation for being a person of great character.  I enjoyed watching him win.  Jordan hugged his caddie, his dad, his mom, his brother, his grandfather, his girlfriend, his coach and a bunch of his friends.  It was easy to notice that this guy has a real life in addition to his golf career.

Jordan has impressed a lot of people on the golf circuit.  Ernie Els said Spieth was, “the most balanced kid I’ve seen” and “the nicest kid in the world.”  Jordan’s mom, Chris, helped the world understand her son when she said, “Jordan wouldn’t be where he’s at today if he didn’t grow up with Ellie.”  Ellie is Jordan’s little sister and is a special needs child.  

Jordan explained that his younger sister has given him a lot of perspective in his life.  He said, “Being Ellie’s brother humbles me every day of my life.  She’s the funniest member of our family.  I really love when she’s able to be out there and I love spending time with her. It’s humbling to see her and her friends and the struggles they go through each day that we take for granted.”  Ellie is autistic and everyone in the family is affected by her difficulties.

Jordan is blessed to have a family that has helped him understand that golf is a game, and family is life.  In fact, the last thing Shawn Spieth told his son before he played his final round and became this year’s Masters Champion was, “This is the greatest game, the Masters – but it’s still a game.”  

I hope in the days, weeks and years to come Jordan will be known as a great golfer and even more importantly, a great person.  It seems very difficult for these young people to stay grounded when the money and the media throw them into a culture of chaos.  I’m glad he has a family to surround him and remind him of what is most important.

I hope the world will take notice of the difference as well.  I looked around the Internet hoping to find an article about Jordan’s faith.  He was a student at Jesuit Preparatory School in Dallas.  He has a charitable foundation and speaks about the importance of serving others.  I know Jordan has a strong family connection and I won’t be surprised if he has a connection to God’s family as well.

My greatest take away from an exciting weekend of golf is this:  Golf really is just a game.  A lot of people were impressed with Jordan’s strong, record-breaking score.   Those same people were impressed with his strong family connections as well.  He is a lucky young man and he is blessed to have parents, grandparents and siblings who love him.

Family truly is one of God’s richest blessings.  Jordan’s dad was right when he said that even the final round of the Masters was just a game of golf.  Has anything become too big or too important in your life?  Do your kids know that their family members are the most important people in the world?

I was impressed with the Spieth family this weekend.  I’m sure they have their imperfections – but that just makes them genuine.  God created us to be in families.  The Spieths are a great reminder of why God wanted us to have a family on earth and why God wanted us to be his family in heaven.

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