Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Waiting for sunrise

The past couple of weeks have been tough.  From the 2+ hour daily commute to/from our temporary home to the struggles of being a man without a domain, God has truly tested my resilience and dependence on outside circumstances dictating my internal disposition. I should be meditating daily (or hourly) on the words of James 1 but the truth is, I'm not.  I was telling a friend the other day that I feel like I'm spending my life sitting in my car waiting to go somewhere, which has turned my typically glass half full outlook somewhat upside down.  My $1200 beater, while pulling down an impressive almost 30mpg, has also registered its complaints by making some new noises and drinking about a quart of oil a week.  In its defense, I only drove it about 4000mi all of last year and have done about half that in the past 2 weeks.

I put forth the 'ol college try to make the best of it, devouring audiobooks (mostly by John Eldridge) and spending some quality time with the boy alternating Killing Lions with songs from his iPhone (or rather 30 seconds of songs), but it still sucks.  No way around it, you people who spend hours in your cars commuting on a daily basis are crazy.  My wife may not agree with me but I'd rather live in a 500sqft apartment 5mi from work than do this long term. 

Looking below the surface, my frustration is mainly stemming from not having the to/from work processing time I've become accustomed to.  The fact of the matter is, my mind processes thoughts and emotions differently (or not at all) when I'm sitting behind the wheel of a car in an endless traffic jam but apparently is in its element when pedaling past that same jam in the bike lane.  There's also the benefit of getting outside for some fresh air and quality time with God's creation, something I have been able to accomplish here and there with walks during lunch and the occasional horsepower break (the latter seemingly a little silly considering my main compliant is how much time I've been spending in the car) but it hasn't been a regular part of my daily routine.

As I sit here sipping a frosty beverage killing time before baseball it struck me that there is definitely some lemonade (or IPA) to be made of these lemons.  Spending so much time together in the car has opened the door to some solid conversations with the dude myself and a few other guys inducted into the brotherhood of men last summer.  It turns out when faced with an audiobook or conversation, talking sometimes wins out.  I've also built some adaptation skills and now have a keen sense for locating establishments with coffee and Wi-Fi near baseball facilities for evening conference calls.  I also don't think I'll struggle at all with motivation to bike to work once we're back to living within a reasonable distance to my employer. 

All in all its been a challenge but the past few months have been full of growth and struggles and as John Eldridge says in Beautiful Outlaw "The waiting period of night will help us appreciate the gift of light again," a sunrise that certainly cannot get here fast enough for my restless soul.

In the meantime I'll lean on the words of James and Psalms 51:12, which a friend graciously shared with me a while back: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

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