Monday, August 29, 2016

Roadside Wisdom

"Everything is uncertain," said The Rev. Gary Braun, of the Catholic Student Center at the university where I work.

I sat in the audience of a campus gathering focused on unity, social justice, and peace. I wrote his words in my journal as I listened.

An hour later, my car lost power in rush hour traffic. I managed to get to the shoulder without calamity and was waiting for AAA to tow my car.

Smiling through the heat and annoyance

Déjà vu. One-and-a-half years earlier, car trouble left me on the side of the road. How far I've come since then, I thought. I remained calm. I thanked my lucky stars for my 19-year AAA membership--best money I spend all year.

"Bert" my blue pathfinder getting a lift

I thought again of what Father Gary had talked about. The uncertainties of life. How we suffer from the delusion that there is something or someone that can keep us safe. That we must work against fear's temptation to live life small.

It would be so easy to say that this car trouble, the impending repair bill, and the ensuing two hours ruined my night. But it's not going to happen. I won't let it. There were bright spots along the way: The car trouble hadn't caused an accident; two separate groups checked on me while I waited; the AAA employees I spoke with were kind and helpful; the gentleman who towed my car was also kind and we had great conversation about what the alternator does, my book research (this episode can be counted), and the benefits of an upgraded AAA membership to cover greater towing distances.

I put my key in the key drop and paid for my towing mileage. We wished each other a good evening and I set out on the walk home. I took a short cut and heard the rumble of thunder. I smiled at the timing.

Halfway through the subdivision I looked to my right and saw the faintest appearance of a rainbow in the sky. I kept walking and soon felt raindrops falling softly on my skin. Within five minutes and in the shelter of my home, the skies opened up and a downpour began.

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

Father Gary talked about how there is adventure to be found when you take life as it comes. When we run towards what we fear rather than away from it. Tonight's adventure proved once again that I am cool under pressure, a great problem solver, and that wishing away a problem is an ineffective use of energy. I may have had a car break down, but I am not broken. Not by a long shot.

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