Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Do the Hokey Pokey and You Turn Yourself About ...

Okay, so let me set you up.  I had to be in Marietta for a Church Council meeting at 7 p.m. this afternoon / evening.  Since I didn't particularly want to sit in traffic during rush hour I managed to get home by 3:45 so I could leave by 4 p.m., hopefully catching the very top end of rush hour traffic.

I was totally exhausted.  To be quite honest, I didn't even want to go to class and work today, let alone leave the perimeter to sit through a meeting at the church.  It was the end of a long week.  I hadn't caught up on sleep from the wedding weekend in Maine.  The traveling through different climate had done a number on my sinuses and put me in a fog.  When I woke up this morning I contemplated staying in bed.

But nevertheless, there I was.  In my car, getting ready to drive north by way of spaghetti junction - a merge I hadn't taken since my accident in July.  There I was, trying desperately to stay awake.  There I was, planning to get to Marietta and study at Starbucks until the meeting knowing that while it's "fall flavors" at Starbucks (Caramel Apple Spice Latte - Kari made sure to tell me as soon as she found out), my burning sinuses and throat would probably only let me drink tea with honey.

I was not in the greatest of moods.

Until ...

All of a sudden I saw that little bit of hope.  It's like the Christ Candle that remains lit on the altar on Maundy Thursday.

As I turned to get on I-85 I pulled up behind an old Chrysler with a bumper sticker on the back of it.  As we both stopped and waited for traffic to pass, I got a look at the bumper sticker:  It said:  "What if the hokey pokey is what it's all about?"

I burst out laughing as we both pulled onto the highway.

So what is it all about?

Today seemed to be about me surviving through the day.  Get to the end of this class, work for three hours, get to the end of this class, walk home, beat the traffic up to Marietta, stay awake through Council and then hopefully forget about homework and go to bed.  Seems like a bleak outlook on life.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional bleak outlook on life.  Some days it's all we can do to just survive.  But every now and then we get a reminder - we receive a Christ Candle - that God is with us and that we are blessed with so many of God's mercies and graces.  And those reminders help us see what is really important - our family; our friends; our strength; our lives!!

So what is it all about?

My Christ Candle - my hokey pokey bumper sticker - gave me hope today.  It reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for.  The reason I am tired and exhausted is because I had the opportunity to visit with friends and family over the past weekend - rather than focusing on the symptoms I should focus on the beauty of northeaster U.S. and of the joy I experience while traveling with Bruce.  The reason I'm behind on my schoolwork is that I am studying at a wonderful school that is often times demanding.  I should focus on the opportunity I've been given to study what I love working towards a vocation I feel called to do.  And yes - perhaps I would rather be curled up in bed with a cup of tea and Season Three of Friends, but what a wonderful church I've found in Pilgrimage United Church of Christ, inspired by phenomenal leadership.

That's what it's all about.

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