It is funny how a real life experience can meet up with a real life spiritual experience. I have to admit I love driving around on all the back roads around our NC home. Even the freeways are mostly two lanes and while sometimes it feels a bit aggravating when all the cars overwhelms the dated infrastructure, I can just look to the hills and mountains knowing my help doesn't come from them but they are sure nice to gaze upon when one is found in stand still traffic. Here, in Houston, there are multiple lanes...sometimes six lanes on just one side of the freeway and most of the time they are jam packed. In the Asheville area, the traffic infractions that usually lead to wrecks comes from trying to cross a road with little time to spare. There are not as many traffic lights to give an opportunity to cross the road just like the chicken we read about, so ya gots to take ya's chances. Here in Houston the traffic infraction is, oh, you left three inches of room between you and the car in front of you...let me just merge right in there. It is really bad here with that. So, I'm on the way to church, just starting to go onto the ramp that takes me to I 10, when a woman begins to merge in the three inches between me and the other car. Man, I lay on the horn...even until she is in the lane that I so graciously, uh yes, graciously, allowed her into. She waves her hand at me like, it's your fault for leaving that much space, WHAT? It might have been a good thing that she was heading west and I toward the east. In those brief seconds I realized I could get really angry about the whole thing or just keep calm and drive to church. I chose calm, thankfully. The whole drive toward church my initial reaction bothered me because I think I believed that my former way of dealing with traffic and the idiots, I mean blessings, that drive the other cars had been redeemed. It had come under Christ's control...fruit of the Spirit...the whole deal and that morning I had to realize the only thing that had changed was my location and the lack there in of this kind of traffic and madness. It had only been removed by changing locations. Yes, you can still get aggravated there in those scenic mountains, but that's just it, the beauty is so overwhelming that you really don't care. Here...well....you have to look for the beauty. Right now dust from Africa has blown over the Atlantic Ocean, into the Gulf of Mexico and right onto shore making Houston and the surrounding areas one big hazy and dusty scene. The dust seems to intensify the heat, holding all that heat in that reflects from all the concrete. I think I even said to Roy it is so hot, the heat is making the sky look like melted blue.
I get to church, park onsite since I'm not a member anymore but a guest. OK, I parked onsite as a member most Sundays....anyway, church service, awesome. Then comes LBS which used to be called SBS but started out as SS which means Sunday School. As Jennifer Kennedy Dean made a point about the flesh, what it is, what engages it, why does God use it for our freedom (changing us) and why the enemy likes to use it and boom...you guessed it, one of her examples was when a car pulls right in front of you. Hello, JKD must have been an invisible passenger in the car that morning. So, I could be happy that it didn't go to anger but my reaction wasn't really a resurrected reaction. Really, that means there is nothing really to be happy about but the fact grace is extended and the opportunity to do good will come again. JKD mentioned that maybe God uses that person in the car to get your attention to intercede for them because maybe you are the only person that will. Ouch!
This trip is getting a point home to me, Katy, Houston...is no longer my home. Each time I take things from our home in Katy for our home in NC, a little less of me exists here. As I walked through the halls of church, I barely even knew or recognized anyone but if I was still there and involved, most likely I would. Thankfully FB can keep up with lives but those who are my closest friends, well, we will have to be intentional about communication because it doesn't take much to become a nostalgic friendship. Right now we all do a pretty good job with this but it will only become harder as the years go by. You might be thinking well duh! Is this just now a revelation to you? Of course not and sitting here in our air conditioned home, trying to get my body to cooperate and be on its best behavior for the doctors, I know my heart has turned and focuses on getting back to the mountains. Roy and I talked about this yesterday and the plans are for more times in NC than me coming back here. This means, in earnest, I need to start finding doctors there and drop this mid summer visit cause it sucks the life out of me. With the whole hip thing in January I have recovered quickly yes, but not feeling as good as the year before. My endurance is slowly but surely recovering and getting my afib in better check is a top priority. It is happening too much lately, even the little events which only last for a while...it still all exhausts me.
Well, those are the thoughts of today...a little too warm and hot with a lot of humidity.