Saturday, March 28

The Men at the Bus Stop

A silver sky lights the way to work this early morning and I drive my car fast and prompt, gripping the wheel tightly.Traffic is pushy. A red Fiat cuts me off. The green Toyota honks the horn. I glance to my left and catch a young truck driver texting on his phone while going a solid 50 mph. We all reach a red light and I hold my breath, hoping he'll stop on time. He does.

Most people despise red lights, for obvious reasons. They slow us down and halt us temporarily on our path to our destination. Is it any wonder why a few of us will try to skip? But there is beauty in a red light too, and I'm talking besides checking your phone for email. They can be moments of reflection.

Look around, see the tired woman in the car next to you. Wonder where she is going, where she works and if she is happy with her life. Look at the coffee shop on the side of the road. The parking lot is full and you can't help but feel some pity for the poor baristas who are being verbally pummeled by the sorts of people who have the luxury to pay for 4 dollar coffees on a weekday.

My moment of reflection comes when I spot two men at a bus stop. They look like twins, same physical build, approximate ages, and identical dress. Both wear white coveralls- the uniform of blue-collar laborers. Despite their similarities, or perhaps because of it, I note that they are foils of each other as well. One sits on the time-worn wooden bench with his head between his hands, staring the dew-kissed ground forlornly. He is tired at dawn and looks like he has endured one too many tragedies. The other man, meanwhile, stands tall at the opposite end of the bench, looking up to the sky, cigarette in hand, carefree. He inhales deeply, as if trying to absorb all the possibilities lingering before him.

The light changes and I must move on, but the thought of these two men haunt me. Who am I at that stop? Am I the man defeated by life before the day begins, or am I standing up as I wait for life to unfold with all its treasures and skulls-so self-assured I am even willing to kiss death and laugh?

Which am I?





Monday, March 2

Friday Night Snapshot


Image result for pizza

This Friday night I went out with my long time friend, Melanie. It was sort of a push for me to get out there and go since I'd had a rough day and desired only to bury my tired head into a pillow and sleep, but when I got the text beckoning me to come out, I did. And what's to say, other than I'm truly glad I did.

We met up at an old pizza joint by my house. The place was packed. Every table in the main dining area was occupied and we were pushed into the overflow section right by the kitchen. A hurried server took our order, then scurried away, leaving us with nothing by conversation and time. So we talked. We caught up, telling the stories of our lives over our drinks, sitting at our sticky, rickety table. Eventually, the pizza came, and then we conversed over that. It was nice, to sit and chat while enjoying the crispy, mouthwatering slices of bread, cheese, and meat.

When the meal was over, we decided it was all to soon to head home and so though it was quite chilly for a Florida night, we headed toward's the yacht club. My friend and I strolled onto the desolate water-front pier and watched the waves lap with a glint of moonlight shining over them. We stayed there, watching, until the cool got to us and out fingers demanded something to thaw them up. "Want to get some hot chocolate?" I suggested. "Why not?", Melanie agreed.

By this time the hour was quite late (for Cape Coral) and all the known spots for a good cup of steaming hot chocolate were shut down. Hunting up and down the parkway for an open establishment that sold cocoa led us to McDonald's. Not my first pick, but why the heck not? We bought our cups of oh-so-sweet hot chocolate and for the second time that night, sat down at a table. Our eyes were drooping with exhaustion, but smiles were abundant nonetheless, knowing we were safe no matter what forms of chaos danced around us. It was lovely.


Sunday, March 1

Control-freak



The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and I obviously have a problem with letting things go. 

I can't let go of not having control over certain aspects of my life.

I can't be at peace with not being the writer of my own destiny

Which is a terrible shame, because I know better. See, the World feeds this lie to us all over and over again:"you are in control of your own destiny." But that might as well be a line from a fairy-tale for all the truth it holds. Rain falls when it will and if you are outside, you will get wet. The Bible says,"The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble" (Proverbs 16:4). And all the plans I wrote and re-wrote? "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (Proverbs 19:21).

So, what am I to do? All the craziness, all the bad, all the woe that I wish I could exude out of my life by sheer will power is beyond my control. Life has been ordained to carry on as it will. The story has already been written, and I'm just playing it out. This is worry sets in.

What if I don't like this story? What if my role is one of helplessness and plight? It is easy to fall into a pattern of panic, chasing desperately after a better plot line. But that is when Romans 8:28 comes to mind, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Ultimately, things are going to work out for good. Sure my plans might be bust, but there are greater plans in store for me. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Everything is going to be alright.