Just for a moment or two… Par 5

Humor me for a moment or two and envision this scenario…

It’s been a long week and you have looked forward to this day as a reward for just surviving the struggle. Having made arrangements with three of you golfing buddies earlier in the week and secured a tee time that fits everyone’s schedule, you head to the golf course. The day is beautiful with a crystal clear sky and a warm gentle breeze to augment the outing.   The scent of freshly mowed grass and the sight of exquisitely manicured fairways and greens invade your senses as you make the turn down the drive to the clubhouse.  You can the feel pump of your adrenaline ease up a notch as you anticipate the beautiful day to come.  What a perfect day for golf!   Your mind has already turned from the challenges of the last week to what lies immediately in front of you…an exhilarating day with just you, your selected buddies and the golf course.  Can it get any better?

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You put your golf shoes on and head to the Starter’s desk to check in and then on to the practice tee to loosen up and allow you playing partners to arrive so that you can tee off.

Enter a slight wrinkle

Your cell phone rings and its one of your playing partners calling to say he can’t make it. It’s a touch disappointing but no big deal, you’ll just head on out as a threesome.

Another wrinkle…

When you get to the Starter’s desk you are informed that he needs to fill your “fourth” position with a single that has just arrived.  To make things a little more interesting, the new guy will be riding with you so you will now be “saddled” with being sociable and making the new guy feel welcome—even though you really would rather he’d just wait and join the next available threesome and while this is not the most welcoming attitude, it is what you feel at the moment.  Oh well, we’ll make the most of it, it’s not the end of the world.

One more wrinkle… 

The Starter announces that it’s your turn to tee off, at which time You, and your two buddies, move to the “big Boy’s” tee…and so does the newcomer.  To be polite, you motion to the newbie to hit away.  Very quickly it becomes irrefutably obvious that your new cart partner—with whom you will be spending the next five hours—is painfully unaware that he hasn’t got a clue about golf, whether it be rules, etiquette or swing mechanics—think the “Caveman” in the Geico Insurance commercial.

He takes his first swing missing the ball, the tee and the tee box entirely.  At this point your buddies utter the obligatory “that’s okay it’s the first hole, everybody gets a mulligan here.” Our friend reloads and hits his next try off the toe, sending it a whopping fifty yards ahead and twenty-five yards to the right into deep rough.  The rest of you tee off and quietly head to your respective carts.  (Your thoughts are going something like…Oh my goodness, doesn’t this guy know it’s Saturday…everybody deserves the right to play, but not on Saturday, that’s the day the serious players play!)

As you are getting into your cart, your new “friend” gives you a three minute dissertation on the things that made his tee shot end up short and significantly to the right.  “Not to worry,” he says “all will be well on the next hole I knows exactly what I did back there.”

You have your suspicions and you think to yourself… ‘This could signal the start of a very long and frustrating day.  So much for a relaxing fun Saturday.

————————————–

You might be thinking now…”why in the world did you feel a need to ruin my day with this frustratingly sad scenario?” The answer for me is embarrassing, painful and  and a form of confession.

I shared the scenario because I see a lot of me in the cart with the “Caveman’, cordial and welcoming on the outside while harboring a far different, more critical attitude within.  Saying the right things but having entirely different thoughts within.

I say the right things, am polite and provide a surface welcome to newcomers, and yet beneath the surface I have from time to time a troubled or critical spirit regarding others who are “not quite cut from the same cloth” as me. So I question…am I truly patient, open, caring, gracious, forgiving, helping, encouraging?  Do I extend an honest hand of caring and welcome…or…just an obligatory glove with no real hand in it? Do I truly love people, accepting others where they are and for who they are? Do I listen with an ear to understand and empathize or do I listen to help establish in my own little self perceived “Upper level’ in the community pecking order?

I am confident I have some work to do.  I need a change of my critical “underwear” (euphemistically) for both Saturday and Sunday.

How about you?  Need to change your foundation garments?

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