Last night I had to be at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church for an alto rehearsal at 6 :15. Ever since my accident, I don’t see well in the dark. I don’t know exactly why this is or what happened to injure my eyes but something did. As a result, I don’t drive at night which is a real pain in the neck. I couldn’t find anyone to take me so I decided to take the bus. I only needed to get it about an hour before I needed to be there so I figured it would be okay.
Of course I worried about it. “What if I get on the wrong bus? What if I pull the string to signal the driver to stop at the wrong place? What if I look like a jerk because I’m not familiar with the route?” It’s interesting because Mark Ramsey’s sermon at GCPC this past Sunday was about Mary’s song and it was called “What We Do While We Wait…..We Worry.” (The picture is “Magnificat!” by Sister Mary Grace Thul and was printed in the bulletin.)
We had an email exchange about parts of it yesterday before my bus trip. I was especially bothered by one of his statements in the sermon: “…we find that anxiety has, by God’s grace, become holy anticipation and against all appearances, and against all odds —that literally saves our life.” It’s funny but when I reframed my worry this way, I wasn’t so stressed. By the time I was ready to go, I was okay. I think perhaps God’s Spirit was at work.
I met my friend, Donnie, on the bus. Donnie was homeless and he recently moved into an apartment. He knew everyone on the bus which helped folks to begin talking to each other. I discovered another woman was concerned about getting her connection as well. When we got to the station, it was just in time for me to catch my bus. However, I didn’t know which one it was and by the time I figured it out, it had pulled out. I ran after it screaming, “Wait! Wait!” A family with two young children were nearby waiting for their bus and they told me that once the driver closes the door it’s not opened again.
So I went into the bus station to try and figure out if another bus was going to come. The guard sitting behind the information booth ignored my questions so I turned around and asked the other riders. I was told another bus would come in about a half hour and I could wait. I looked at my watch and saw I had 35 minutes until rehearsal began. I said, “Shoot, I bet I could walk there faster!” Another woman nodded and said, “Yep you could.”
I had no idea how far on Merrimon GCPC was but I figured I’m in good physical condition and it couldn’t be too far so that’s what I decided to do. My first problem was trying to figure out how to get to Merrimon from the bus station. Folks pointed me the right way but my spatial orientation issues got me all confused. I asked several folks how to get there but I didn’t write what they said down and I ended up walking all over downtown.
By the time I finally figured out where Merrimon was it was dark and I had only 15 minutes before the rehearsal began. I thought about going back to the bus station to catch that bus but I wasn’t sure how to get back to it. So I trudged on in the dark. I considered stopping at one of the bus stops and waiting for the bus, but I do hate being in darkness outside like that. After a few feet, it is total darkness and it’s a bit scary not knowing what is out there so I decided walking was the better option.
It always helps me to think of a saying or a Scripture verse when I’m stressed out inside. I thought back to Mark’s sermon and tried to come up with that phrase that calmed me down before but all I could come up with was “holy *********! I decided that wasn’t the right phrase and walked on.
When I got to the McDonalds next to the church, the bus passed me. When I arrived at the rehearsal I was a sweaty mess and was panting too hard to sing a note. Since my brain can handle only so much stimulation and my little journey began at 5 o’clock, by 7:45 I could tell I needed to “rest my brain.” One of the rest rooms has a couch so I went there, put in my ear plugs and turned out the light for a few minutes.
I am thankful that God gives me, and others, the strength we need to live in our challenging, wonderful world.