People gathered around me. More and more people. They stood in a circle. Circles are not lines and lines are not circles. I began to grow anxious and strategize.
Waiting. I stood at the Subway sandwich counter. The store depends on a nice, straight line. I was next but the line was neither straight nor nice. Those devices that corral people into single file orderliness? Nowhere.
Does The Way consist of being willing to give up my place in line? Do I press my claim at the expense of another? I have kids waiting, though. Waiting for sandwiches. I’m waiting, trusting God to make it right, to make even this chaotic gathering orderly. Am I willing to be wronged? To be treated unfairly? Am I willing to accept life in a broken world when it comes at my expense? Will I willingly wait an extra 10 minutes in line?
The artist donned her gloves and met my eyes asking for my order. She saw me. My heartbeat slowed. This time I enjoyed things as they should be…or, should I say, as I think they should be.
I know. It’s a line at Subway but lines in this country provide the crucible which reveals my true nature. These everyday moments stare me down. When I’m asked to lock up my purse at the grocery store but know for foreigners its more of a desire than a mandate, do I comply? When the cashier asks me to pay for my toiletries separately or the parking attendant requests that I re-park my car nose out like a drug dealer making a quick getaway, do I grumble? Do I even do it?
Will I throw my lot to God and submit to what seems ridiculous…and to what really is ridiculous? Or will I do what I like to do and fight, press my rights, stake my claim? I who have no rights? I who follows the One who did not hold to His rights?
Ouch. I don’t do well at this. It feels like a freefall…a total loss of control. And, it is but from the few times I’ve fallen from my rights, it’s been fabulously freeing.
I may be waiting longer for my sandwiches in the future. And, I’ll need to perfect my drug dealer parking skilz too.
What is one of your crucibles?