This is a guest post by my husband...
Jack Nicklaus (widely regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time) wept alone in his living room as he watched a horse race. What would make a grown man cry over a horse race?
Did he lose a lot of money betting on the wrong horse? No.
Did somebody die or get seriously injured during the race? No.
The event that brought Jack Nicklaus to tears was the 1973 Belmont Stakes, where a horse named Secretariat became the ninth Triple Crown winner in history and the first in 25 years. Secretariat smashed the race record and beat his nearest competitors by an astonishing 31 lengths. Secretariat ran the perfect race. He was doing what he loved to do and he did it perfectly.
When trying to offer Jack Nicklaus an explanation for his emotional reaction to Secretariat's Belmont Stakes victory, Heywood ("Woody") Braun was quoted to have said:
Jack, don't you understand? All of your life in your game you've been striving for perfection. And at the end of the Belmont, you saw it.
If you watch this YouTube video and read the user comments, you'll learn that many others (myself included as I watched the video) shared in Jack Nicklaus' tearful response to watching Secretariat.
Is Braun's explanation accurate?
I think it is, yet it doesn't fully satisfy my heart and mind in providing a complete explanation. Why do we cry when witnessing perfection? I'm not a philosopher and normally not a deep thinker, but I humbly offer up my addendum to Braun's explanation...
I think most of us know that we are broken and that our world is broken. We all have a deep longing for perfection... a world where everything is right and we are right with the world. I think every once in awhile, God gives us a glimpse into what perfection looks like. These glimpses remind us of our deep longing that only God can satisfy. They remind us of what we are missing; it reminds us of our own brokenness (imperfection) and we are brought to tears.
When thinking about perfection, the following verses come to mind:
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Cor 13:9-12
We long for heaven when "perfection comes" and "the imperfect disappears."
What glimpses of heaven has God revealed to you?
Photo credit: AKB302
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