Raising the trophy

Competition and Faith…

Hello leaders, clients, donors, and friends,

Greetings this morning from Alabama, my 41st visited state, and the site of an Executive Forum I’m part of for a few days. Here’s a few brief thoughts today about competition and faith, whih are both most relevant topics for any leader.

You may have seen (or heard about) The Masters pro golf tournament this past weekend. I was down here spending a day with a great bud while working on what’s gonna be a great book, “Living the Lord’s Prayer.” But we (he) was distracted by the Masters’. Not only was there competition on the screen (which was supposed to be background noise), but also competition in the room, as the two of us are in a season-long picks contest (for serious recreational $$) with a bunch of Accenture and Kenwood CC guys. He had Scottie Scheffler. I had Bryson DeChambeau. His guy was dominating. Mine was fading. He shouldda been celebrating, or just enjoying it, but he was complaining and whining because his guy wasn’t winning by enough strokes to make his pick safe. Scheffler eventually won easily.

After I got over my own small disappointment about this little contest, I was so, so happy to hear Scheffler’s comments in his postgame press conference. For me, as a guy who didn’t grow up in an overtly religious home, I’ve resonated with many a client, friend, or Thoughts on the Rocks guy who has concerns about what might happen to a leader, a professional, an executive, anyone with responsibility, if they were to really get serious about the Christian faith. I’ve heard things like:

“What if I lose my competitive edge?”

“Others are playin’ to win;
I don’t wanna have to turn the other cheek.”

“Nice guys finish last.”

“Someday after I’ve made it, and stored up a safety net,
I’ll check back on the faith thing.”

So I was thrilled when Scheffler talked about competition and his faith. He revealed a piece of advice he received from his friends after being asked about his identity and not making it about his play on the golf course. He talked about gathering with his buddies prior to the final round. His “buddies” are other pros and a few caddies who are part of a quiet and intimate Bible Study, much like the Zoom roundtables and Bible studies many of our guys are in (but without the golfing talents!)

“I was sitting around with my buddies this morning, I was a bit overwhelmed, I told them, I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as did I or as badly as I do,” Scheffler said. “I think it would make the mornings easier.

“But I love winning,” he continued. “I hate losing. I really do. And when you’re here in the biggest moments, when I’m sitting there with the lead on Sunday, I really, really want to win badly. And my buddies told me this morning, my victory was secure on the cross. And that’s a pretty special feeling to know that I’m secure for forever, and it doesn’t matter if I win this tournament or lose this tournament. My identity is secure for forever.”

Scheffler then actually got a follow-up question about his identity and his faith:

“I believe that today’s plans were already laid out many years ago, and I could do nothing to mess up those plans. I have been given a gift of this talent, and I use it for God’s glory. That’s pretty much it,” Scheffler said.

“So, when I’m out there, I try to compete to the best of my abilities. Like I said, I really want to win. I feel like that’s how I was designed. I’ve been that way since I was a young kid. That’s always been a part of me, and I don’t think that should be going away anytime soon. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either.”

“At the end of the day, like I said, my identity is secure already, and I get to come out here and compete, have fun, enjoy it; and then at the end of the day, win or lose, my identity is secure.”

And as one outlet summarized it, “now he’s a two-time Masters’ winner with their first baby on the way.”

I’m inspired when successful people share transparently about their faith. Not preachy. Not cheesy. Not sloppy agape or holy mumbo-jumbo. Just their story. I’m inspired by Scottie’s story. Although it’s taken ‘til Tuesday to get over some bitterness that I didn’t pick him but my buddy did.” I don’t have Scottie’s skills, but I am certainly still competitive. I also remember the words of the apostle, “Doesn’t everyone who runs compete to win?”

I’m glad faith and competitiveness go together. In fact, each makes us better at the other.

Best of blessings to you in this day after, this week after, this month and year after. Here’s to another week of seeking to become better versions of ourselves;

…In the meantime, 1) Thank You for those who support our work with those who need it, 2) We still have a few spots left on each Montana fly-fishing and Boundary Waters trips this summer, and 3) Make it a great week! -Doug

For More Info: We offer a few “bucket list” options with a purpose each summer:

Boundary Waters
It’s a rare treat to be in such pristine wilderness where you can actually drink the water from the lakes, catch 20 inch smallmouth bass, enjoy the rigors of canoeing and seeing rare protected wildlife while portaging between lakes and share deep heart stuff and prayers with others on the trip. This year, the trip is designed as a Father/Son excursion. If interested, please reach out to Bill at [email protected].

Montana Fly-Fishing
Come to what they call “The Last Best Place.” We stay on the Madison River, with expert guides to assist raw beginners and saavy veterans. With our private chef, river access, private lakes, all gear provided, and great ToTR gatherings morning and evening, everyone gets quite a bit out of it. Reach out to Rob (June 25-30, [email protected]), or Mike (July 23-28, [email protected])

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Donor Questions:
Bob Lynch, Treasurer
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