Eldrick “Tiger” Woods might well have crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a dam, given the deluge of reports and rumors flooding the electronic, broadcast and print media since his Nov. 27 accident. We’ll be hearing much more about his alleged extramarital trysts, which he terms “transgressions” and “personal sins,” in the coming days. But most interesting is the frenzy this has generated.
Maybe it’s human nature to take perverse delight in the failings of those seemingly living idyllic, utopian lifestyles. Woods has had that: Looks, intelligence, athleticism, homage as one of history’s greatest golfers (perhaps the greatest), fame, fortune, a lovely trophy wife, picture-perfect kids. And yet, if allegations are true, those apparently were not enough. His wife might be Swedish, but something was rotten in Denmark.
Experts may attempt to explain the motivations of high-profile philanders, but only the Woods family truly knows what has gone on behind their closed doors. The golfer par excellence now has consequences to face. As my mother often repeated during my adolescence – to my annoyance – “You make your bed, you sleep in it.”
But situations like this are far from new. Thousands of years ago, Israel’s King David had power, vast wealth, multiple wives (permissible in that culture) and many children, yet when he spotted Bathsheba on a rooftop, he determined to have her (2 Samuel 11). Years later their son, Solomon, who succeeded David as king and gained repute as being wiser than any of his contemporaries, stated, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure…everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).
After a long lifetime of searching, Solomon concluded: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Tiger would be wise to heed that lesson.