Sphere of Influence

On Easter Sunday, just a couple of weeks ago now, I was watching the final round of the PGA Tour Golf Tournament that was being played at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. 

Harbour Town
Harbour Town Golf Links

This is one of my favorite courses to watch, and it is usually a pretty well contested tournament as it is played the week after the first Major Tournament of the year, The Masters.  Most professional golfers try to get their games to peak for The Masters, and because of that, there are usually some golfers that are at their best the following week as well.

Another interesting thing to note about this tournament is that in it’s 49 years of being played in South Carolina, no native South Carolinian has ever won it.  That is until this year.  Wesley Bryan held on to win the tournament with a 13-under par score, winning by one stroke.  What makes this even more impressive is the fact that he is a rookie on the tour, and wasn’t even in the field at The Masters the week before.  He’s not new to the game of golf, but he is a new face in the top tour of his profession now.

Wesley Bryan
Wesley Bryan

After the tournament was concluded, I was watching the network coverage, and because they had finished a little earlier than expected, they had time to actually interview Mr. Bryan live.  Jim Nance was conducting the interview, and it was your typical golf interview, talking about certain shots that ended up being significant, how it felt to be the first native South Carolinian to win, how his first win on the PGA Tour felt, etc.  Bryan was very humble, which is refreshing to see, but the interview then took a turn that I was very surprised to see.

Nance opened the door and asked Bryan about winning the tournament in his home state ON EASTER SUNDAY.  The door was wide open.  My interest was captured immediately, along with the thought of, “I can’t believe that they actually asked that question, what’s he going to say?”  I wasn’t disappointed.  I can’t find a clip or transcript of the response, which is no surprise.  But Bryan responded along the lines of, “I don’t want the spotlight to be on me too much today.  It needs to be on my Lord and Savior who rose from the grave.”

And it was a sincere response.  All to often, athletes and those in the spot light mention God or Jesus, but you can just tell that it is lip service.  That they are just saying it to be saying it, they don’t actually believe it.  Well, I don’t know Bryan, didn’t even know his name before Easter Sunday this year.  But he sounded sincere.  It wasn’t this response thanking God for his talent and ability.  He was humbly putting the spotlight on what we, as Christ followers, celebrate each year on Easter (and hopefully every other day of the year as well for that matter). 

This young man had just gotten in the spotlight for really the first time on the national stage, and he used it to shine a light on Jesus.  How incredible is that?!  We may never have the national spotlight on us.  We may never have the local spotlight on us for that matter.  But we all have a sphere of influence.  Are you using your sphere of influence to make your name better, or to glorify the name of Jesus and what He has done for us?  (Side note: With his win, Bryan automatically qualifies for The Masters tournament next year)

thoughts-from-a-crosseyed-jesus-freak