Thursday, February 24, 2005

Is THIS where I was going?

No wonder I avoid mirrors! Remember the first time you looked in a mirror and saw your father looking back at you? How did that happen? When did I get to be 48? Oh, I know the date involved and the physics of time, motion and aging.... but still, this is pretty scary stuff. I climb out of bed in the morning and the first thing I do is freeze a moment and say "ow!" Yes, even when I am only climbing out of bed I fail to nail the dismount. (somewhere in my closet is a Russion judge holding up a 5.5)

It reminds me of a bus ride I took in Glasgow, Scotland. I have been all over Scotland most of my life, but this was a weird day back when I was 17. I had a friend drive me into the city from East Kilbride, but he couldn't hang around. I told him I'd just catch a bus back. Unfortunately, I am terrible at reading bus schedules, so I walked to a bus stop and asked a wee old man there what bus would take me back to East Kilbride. "Ye'll be wanting a thirty three," he said. Fair enough. I stood waiting a moment and took the #33 bus. It didn't seem to be going the right direction, but I'm neither Lewis nor Clark so I didn't panic. What the old man didn't tell me was that I needed to get off the #33 after a few stops, hop on another bus, and switch from that one to yet another one before I would get to East Kilbride.

That seems to me to have been crucial information missing from our brief, but pleasant, conversation! As it was, we kept going and going, stopping from time to time for someone to get off, but no one seemed to be getting on. After awhile it was just me and the bus driver. We made one more stop and he got off! I thought, "Right! That's it! I'm getting off." I had to spend the next fifteen minutes asking people what town I was in (Darnley) and how to get back to East Kilbride (you can't). But I learned a valuable lesson:

"Don't get on a bus unless you know where it is going."

Every thought, every decision, and every conversation is a bus going somewhere. I might not have meant to end up like I did, but that was the bus I took. I could of studied anything, married anybody (work with me here), lived anywhere... but I made decisions that meant that I would now live like I do and look like I do. While my genetics were a gift from God what happened next was all my fault!

I have spoken to several vets from Vietnam (heroes all, in my estimation) who still shuddered when they remembered what they were capable of. They did their duty and did it well, but they had never thought of themselves as capable of charging into fire or tossing a grenade into a hootch. They wondered, when they looked in a mirror, who they were seeing.

Sin has done the same thing to me. When I look in the mirror I am disillusioned with the way I turned out. Not physically -- I didn't have much to work with there -- but spiritually. I wanted to be a much better man than I am. I wanted to be more serious, more studious, more kind, more -- well -- Christian. But this is how I ended up, so far.

I seemed to have strayed often and arrived somewhere I never intended to visit. Thank God I do not have to find my own way home. Someone is coming for me. He knows where He is going and how to get there. And He promised to take me with Him. Now boarding.....


At 2/25/2005 10:11:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

Patrick, thanks for the wonderful post today. I have found myself too many times on a bus I didn't need to be on! I am trying to better on that, by doing what you mentioned.........look to see if HE is the driver, and if so, I don't mind going where ever he wants to take me! :)

Your brother,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home