No, I wasn’t blessing the runners or handing out water or cleaning up the pukers. I was mainly sitting in my car and cursing. I am proud to say, however, that I wasn’t shooting the bird or arguing with the poor traffic cops like some of the other stuck-in-traffic pissed-off people.
I knew that the Georgia Marathon was going to be run on Sunday morning and that streets were going to be blocked. I had even checked the marathon map on my way out the door. But, I still managed to get on the primary race route road.
You might have thought God would do a better job getting me to church. Maybe he’s a little busy right now, what with Japan and Libya, but still, here I was trying to do the right thing for once and I was getting very little support.
I am, at best, a sporadic church goer. I’ve belonged to my big city, open-doors-to-all-races-creeds-and-orientations United Methodist Church for six years now but I’ve just recently started going back. Our church is so open-minded, we occasionally have to prop up a snoozing homeless person so we can fit everyone into the pew.
Like many people, I vacillate on my beliefs about God and Jesus and Me, Myself, and I. However, I do believe that, if there is a God, when He isn’t Hanging out at the Beach, he’s Spending Time at St. Mark.
As good a person as I’m trying to be (which, come to think of it, it ain’t all that good), I would have certainly blown off church this morning because of how difficult it was going to be to get there. Had it not been for Cheryl Thompson begging on Facebook for someone to take her place with the reading of the Old Testament Scripture during the 11:15 service, I would've been happily ensconced at home, surfing the net rather than sitting in traffic.
In a weak moment, I told Cheryl I would take her place and, before I could change my mind, she sent me the passage in an email message (using a large script so I could decipher it). I read and re-read it out loud it like the instructions said to do, so that I wouldn’t stumble over those big bible-like words.
Because we are supposed to at least pretend we are reading from the Real Bible and not a large-lettered computer print-out, I found my mother’s old Bible, the one given to her by my father, who was the true believer in our family, someone who never ever, in my memory, questioned God. In that Bible, I found a newspaper article about my brother from when he finished Officer’s Training during the Vietnam War, something that reminded me, once again, about what a perfect child he was – the ass.
So, after all the reading and practicing and remembering and finding sensible shoes so I wouldn’t fall down climbing up to the pulpit, there I was stuck in traffic and not moving except when there was a lull in the lumbering mass. I thought, at that point, church would have to move on without me, or worse, all of those people, including the clergy, would just sit there wondering where the reading from Genesis had gone.
I finally made it into the sanctuary at 11:20 and, thank goodness, my friend, Katie, had saved me a seat. I didn’t even have to prop her up. After the children's sermon was done, I walked up to the front, remembering that you never want go on after kids.
But it turned out okay. I didn’t fall down and I read the scripture and I even got in a couple of jokes.
I’m not sure you’re supposed to tell jokes leading up to reading scripture but I believe God’s Work arrives in all kinds of presentation styles and I've definitely got my own style.