Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rake the Bunker

If you have spent any time on a golf course, then you have spent some time in one of the courses many obstacles - the bunker. My uncle likes to refer to them simply as 
‘sandy beaches.’
I always feel as though my golf ball has a magnet in it that is drawn to this bane of my existence. These sandy beaches are placed strategically all over each golf hole, in the fairways and near the greens. It’s not as if getting the golf ball in the cup is not hard enough without these things. Nevertheless, bunkers are always near.

Lying nearby these traps, you will always find a rake. No, it is not another obstacle to avoid…the rake is put there for the golfer to clean up his/her mess when they are done. 
It is the golfers duty to put the bunker back the way they found it. This is done so that those coming behind you can have the same opportunity that you were presented with.

(Courtesy: BourneAmenity)
I so love the analogies about life that golf presents to us. One of the words you will hear associated with golf is honor. Your score, replacing your divots, and raking the bunker is all about honoring the persons that will be playing behind you.

So many individuals have lost this trait when it comes to life. Many just want to play through the course of life, never taking the time to clean up their mess. We often forget that it was our shot that put us in this bunker to begin with. Sure, you will finish what you set out to do…but you have left a littered path of unfinished business in the process.

(Courtesy: RittenHouse)
How many apologies have been left unsaid?
How many opportunities have been started…yet never finished?
How many lessons have not been learned…all because we didn’t take the time to STOP and RAKE?

This reality never seems to confront us because it doesn’t really affect us in the moment. Where it shows up is later on - long after our round is complete. Your failure to clean up your mess has made it that much more difficult on those coming behind you.
Our companions. Our children. Those that follow our circle of influence. For this very reason, the struggles of a former generation will plague those of the generation to come. With every passing generation, this course of life gets that much more difficult to play. 

Rake the bunker. Whether you feel like anyone is around watching or not, it’s the honorable thing to do.  

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