This Christmas season has been one of mixed messages. The advertisements croon to me the sweet refrain "You Need It All - You CAN Have It All" But the news stories of Tiger Woods disaster sing a different song.
The question was asked almost two thousand years ago, “What kind of deal is it to get everything you want, but lose yourself? What could you ever trade that is worth losing your soul” (Matthew 16:26) Very few people ever have EVERYTHING they want, so that question maybe not all of us can contemplate. But ALL of us have the opportunity to trade ourselves for something. The news stories about the tragic choices made by golf legend Tiger Woods have brought this question to my mind over and over. What kind of deal is it to indulge yourself in anything you desire, but lose that which is most valuable? For Tiger it was a trade of physical pleasure and the thrill of the moment for the priceless treasure of integrity. The man who had it all… wanted more. In reaching for that ‘more’ he is going to lose everything that really matters. Because contrary to popular opinion, no, you cannot have it all.
We find it so easy to feel disgust for a man who trashes the trust of his wife, shattering her heart. We find it easy to despise the actions of a father who puts his lust ahead of the emotional well being of his children, shredding their futures apart. We find it easy to feel contempt for a person who will trash their business and future ability to meet their financial obligations with selfish destructive actions. Its soooo easy to see the fault in others. But we find it so easy to overlook the same types of behavior in our lives.
How often have we stuffed our face with non nutritious foods, choosing to ignore its long term affect on our health? How many times have we neglected to take care of health issues disregarding our future selves, endangering our very lives ? How many times have we spent money better saved, or spent money foolishly, neglecting the future needs of our family?
How many times have we not spent time with our spouses or children, squandering our time pursuing instead personal interests? And tragically, how many times have we passed up spiritual disciplines, leaving Gods word untouched, fasting days ignored and prayer time undone? The question is best asked again, and again. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want…. but lose yourself? What could you ever trade that is worth losing your soul? For Tiger it was self indulgence of a sexual nature… what is it for you? What are you trading for?