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A Thank You To The Patriots

16 Apr

If you’ve held a conversation with me for more than 43 seconds it’s likely you’ve heard me talk about how much I love the city of Boston.

Sox Games

Sox Games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Singing Sweet Caroline at Sox games

Pats Games

Pats Games

Celtics Games

Celtics Games

Ducklings

Ducklings

4th of July

4th of July

4th of July with Neil Diamond

4th of July with Neil Diamond

FALL!

FALL!

I could go on forever… feel free catch up on some of my previous posts that are dedicated to my city:

Visito[u]r Guide: Boston, MA

Burb Dwellers vs. City Slickers – My soap box about people thinking Boston is a rude city

Top Ten Moments in the History of (my Experience with) Boston Sports! (aka the time I Arsenio Hall’d Ray Allen)

The Month That Was – aka the best month of my LIIIIIIFE

Definitely can’t forget about the available bachelors!! (LOVE YOU WOLFIE!) An Opportunity to Date Boston’s Most Eligible Bachelor

And even finding a portrait of grace via the MBTA… Grace: As Learned from the Boston Metro

I’m telling you… I love this city.office view

Patriots Day is tied for first on my Favorite Day in Boston List… St. Paddy’s Day, 4th of July are tough to pass up (honorable mention to Opening Day at Fenway and the Santa Speedo Run).  Who would have thought, right??  Patriots Day???

Last Patriots Day I somehow managed to guilt three of my friends into leaving my apartment at 4:45a to watch the Battle of Lexington and Concord reenactment on the Lexington Green… WHERE THE ACTUAL BATTLE TOOK PLACE!!!

They love me, I swear...

They love me, I swear…

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was one of the first battles fought of the Revolutionary War and the Patriots were the guys that fought it.  Who were the Patriots?  Nobodys.  Just a few rough and tough guys that believed in their cause, that believed in freedom, that did not back down and that stood their ground for something that was right.

Anyone that has sat with me at a sporting event has seen me get teary eyed when the National Anthem is sung (because it happens EVERY TIME), and anyone that has watched 4th of July fireworks with me has witnessed the same teary eyed Sarah… America, the freedoms we have, and the people that defend our freedoms get me emotional.  Sue me.

The battle reenactment on Patriots Day was no exception.  I got a liiiiiiiiiittle emotional and have been intending to write this post ever since.

I was standing at the edge of the Lexington Green at 5:00a waiting for the reenactment.  I was trying to contain my excitement as I stood amidst the 200 year old houses surrounding the green that were there when the battle took place and it could just not be done.

AMERICA!!!

AMERICA!!!

Silence came over the crowd as we heard the British Troops marching through Lexington.  Men wearing scrappy colonial clothes started running out of houses armed with one shot rifles and stood in the middle of the green…. And we were standing right there watching!  The British soldiers marched perfectly in sync to the drummer’s beat and approached the green in their perfectly matched, prestine uniforms.  Our ‘troops’ gathered themselves together in the middle of the green, forming a single line the length of the green to express to the British soldiers that they were not welcome… this was going to be AMERICA.

As the British soldiers approached the scraggly Patriot soldiers some of the Patriots fled… after all, death was imminent.  The British soldiers were now just a few yards away and the remaining men stood their ground, trembling in fear.  Rather than shooting the ten or so Patriots blocking their path, the Bristh leader called his troops to stopped marching, stopping within five feet of the faces of the Patriots.  The leader of the British troops yelled at the Patriots to move.  The Patriots stood their ground.

The British soldier yelled two then three more times.  More men fled from the danger of the line into the surrounding woods.  No one knows who fired the first shot, but it appeared to come from one of the houses and thus the battle began, killing most of the Patriots.  The British soldiers continued marching and would later make it to the North Bridge in Concord where “the shot heard ‘round the world” was fired.

There were so many thoughts going through my head at this reenactment that brought me to tears… as I saw the Patriots standing in the line, trembling as the uniformed British soldiers approached, I thought of my friends and [some former] loved ones that are currently serving our country.  I thought of my father and grandfather who served as Marines.  I prayed a prayer of gratitude for the people that have believed so much in freedom that they have fought to protect it.  It led me to ask myself… what do I believe in so much that I would stand in the face of the enemy and be willing to sacrifice my life for? 

As a Christian, the obvious answer should be Christ.  Which led me to ask… am I really willing to sacrifice my life for Christ?  Would I die, or even face danger for that matter, for the cause of Christ?  Ok forget death and danger… would I even be willing to give up my earthly pleasures for the sake of Christ, because often times I don’t.  Do I truly understand the statement I so frequently hear, “Christ died for me?”  Wow. Christ died for me.  These soldiers died for me.  These soldiers died for the cause of freedom, so that we could speak and worship and play and educate and live in a world that is free.  Christ is the true source of freedom and the true source of peace and He endured the wrath of God and died to give it to us.  Saying ‘I was moved’ is quite the understatement… I was completely awestruck.

Yesterday I brought myself back to that moment when I was standing on the Lexington Green and I attempted to sort through my thoughts after the explosions.  I could do nothing but sit at my desk with my head in my hands and cry.  The Boston Marathon has, for the past four years, been my little glimpse of heaven (as I have so proudly expressed) and was shattered by Evil.  By hatred.  By selfishness.  I was brutally reminded that we live in the world and that Satan’s presence exists.  I had to stomach people around me saying things like “the media is making a bigger deal of this than it really is… just two people died.”  Just.  I’m beginning to hate that word.  Say that to the mother of the eight year old boy.  Say that to his second grade classmates and explain to them why there is an empty desk in their classroom.  Say that to the families impacted by the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut… after all, it was “just” one classroom.  Ugh.  I wanted to vomit.

The only thing we can do is remember the pain of this sorrow and move forward.  How do we move forward?  In my attempt to stand for what is right, I have to express that we move forward when we pursue Christ.  We pursue and fight for what is right.  We love those that don’t love us back.  We reset our hearts and minds to the things not of this world, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  We set our hearts on things above and eagerly await His kingdom come.  We open our eyes and accept that God is a God that loves us and by knowing His love we will better learn to love each other and by loving each other, we change the world.  We have faith that the darkness has been overcome.

To the people in my favorite city and the place my heart calls home – I love you and pray blessings and peace in this time of sorrow.  Let us be reminded of the love that has been shown to us by our Creator and let us spread His love to the people of this world.

Love that dirty water...

Love that dirty water…

Love that dirty water...

Boston you’re my home

The Boston Marathon: A Race to Heaven!

19 Apr

In my last post I told you about how I got to check speed dating off my bucket list.  WAHOO.  I’ll tell you what’s not on my bucket list – running a marathon.  Unlike every other 25 year old something out there… I have literally never had this desire.  Oh well.  I do however love supporting people that run marathons and have (on more than one occasion  stood at various mile markers at various marathons that my friends have run with bottles of orange Gatorade, energy packs and Milky Way bars to pass on to them during their race.  Marathons are fun!

As most of the world is aware, the marathon of ALL marathons was this week – THE BOSTON MARATHON!!!! (In case the all caps and string of exclamation points didn’t give it away… I looooooooove the Boston Marathon!)  This was my fourth year experiencing the race first hand and every year I cry at least one point watching the runners go by.  Ok, I know I can get emotional about goofy things (4th of July, Battle of Lexington and Concord reenactment, Marley and Me, the homeless kid on Korea’s Got Talent, etc.) but I feel like this one is legitimate!  Watching people struggle in pursuit of fulfilling a life goal?  Seeing the dedication on their faces to finish something that has taken months (if not years) of  intense training?  Don’t even get me started on the military men and women that do it in all their gear… U.S.A!! U.S.A!!  I think the real reason I get emotional about this marathon in particular is because I feel like I get to witness a little piece of Heaven here on earth 🙂

Hebrews  12:1-3 says:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Watching the runners of the Boston Marathon provides us with such a great representation of our various walks (or runs) of faith – I’ve seen runners wearing tutu’s and gorilla costumes bouncing down Beacon Street at mile 23 like it’s nothing!  I’ve seen runners go by waving their arms up and down to rally the crowd for even louder cheers.  I’ve seen runners struggle to lift their feet another step.  I’ve seen the man who pushes his son in the wheelchair.  I’ve seen runners set world records.  I’ve seen injuries.  Really bad injuries.  I’ve seen people desperate for water.  And all I can do is cheer them on.

In the race we call life (cue soap opera narrative voice here), I can identify various points in my faith where I was rallying the crowd, or using all my strength to help someone else towards the finish line, or struggled to take just one more step, or desperate for water, or even waddling around in a tutu with a big smile on my face.

What really sets the Boston Marathon apart for me is the masses that come to cheer on the runners.  The entire city shuts down to show its support and there is not a single spot on either side of the 26.2 miles that is left empty; everyone in the city of Boston (and then some!) are out supporting the 22 THOUSAND + runners and it’s just one huge party!

When I think of the Kingdom of Heaven, I see the streets of Boston lined with thousands upon thousands of spectators and think of the cloud of witnesses that the author of Hebrew mentions.   All the angels in Heaven and those that have gone on before us line the entire path of our faith journey, cheering us on every step of the way as we run our race; they want nothing more than for us to cross the finish line and join them in the cheering squad, worshiping the Creator.  I think about the times when we grow weary and lose heart, and somehow we make it through to the next day (and the next and the next).  I think about  how we look forward in hope of the eternal joy that cannot be taken away from us.  But most of all, I think of never having to be separated from God, all thanks to The One who has run before us.

To the runners of the Boston Marathon – you are incredible.  If you’d like to put in a request for an orange Gatorade or a Milky Way, let me know and I will be there for ya next year!

To the rest of yous guys – be encouraged that all of Heaven is lining the full 26.2 miles of our lives cheering and anxiously waiting for us to finish our race.  We are pressing on towards the goal of eternal life.  Now let’s get some more runners, shall we?!

(That was figurative.  Still no desire to run a marathon 😉 just FYI)

Hoppy Keester!

4 Apr

Easter is just around the corner!!!!  I love Easter.  I love Spring 🙂  My favorite Easter was the one when Ashole and I decided to drive to Nashville from Abilene for the weekend. 

One of many decisions that we didn't really think thru... driving 28 hours in one weekend was really dumb of us.

photoshoot outtake

I may have gone a little overboard (what?) and held a photoshoot, used a picture from our photoshoot to make matching iron on t-shirts for us to wear for the trip, and decorated my car with carpaint.**  Ash and were trying to come up with the perfect phrase to write with the carpaint… ‘Easter Bash with Sarah & Ash in Nash’ wouldn’t fit across the windows of my SUV… so Ash suggested ‘Hoppy Keester!’ for the win.  Which definitely turned into us mooning everyone we passed on the freeway.  I love us.

**I’d like to express a formal apology to my future children (under the assumption someone would ever choose to reproduce with me) for how ridiculous I can get during holidays.  It’s embarrassing.  I know.

our shirts

This year I’m totally pumped for Easter in a different kind of way.  Having grown up in a loving Christian home where I could count how many church services I’ve  missed, I’ve always known the meaning of Easter – we’re celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, duh!  and I have the first grade Sunday school art to prove it 🙂  For the past year, I have been challenged by what Jesus’ death and resurrection means and have been processing how it is relevant to our lives today… I’ll be honest, it’s a lot to process and I’ve still got a looooooong ways to go.

Early last year I attended church service at James Island Community Church in Charleston, SC.  It was a pretty typical Sunday service for me until the pastor started talking about how many people have been crucified in the history of the world – in fact, it was a pretty popular form of punishment in Jesus’ time.  So why was this crucifixion any different?  Why do billions of people take time every year to observe ‘Holy Week’ and Easter?  It’s embarrassing to admit, but I can honestly say I hadn’t ever really thought of it.  The only response I could come up with was because… well…  Jesus was the Son of God and it was sad.   Definitely true… but let’s get beyond first grade refrigerator art shall we?

While hanging on the cross, Jesus fully absorbed the entire wrath of God.

Let me preface by saying that I believe that we as humans are incapable of ever understanding God’s power and wrath here on earth.  Personally, the closest I think I come to understanding God’s power is when I watch the ocean – how waves are controlled by our moon’s orbit… and that the tides change by the hour… and that there is an entirely unexplored world in its depths… and that when the tectonic plates of the earth move, entire nations can be taken down by its force… (and people wonder why I have to live on a coast ;))   But for real… that’s just the ocean, on one planet, in one universe, part of one galaxy.  This is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the full measure of God. 

So thinking about the magnitude of God’s power leads me to the magnitude of God’s wrath – how all of it could be absorbed into one body in the flesh.  Jesus prayed to God, “… if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me…” and the cup He was referring to is not a cup you drink out of.. it’s the ‘cup of wrath’ described in the Old Testament – the wrath of God.  The (extremely elementary) image I get when I think of Jesus enduring the wrath of God against the sin of the world is a tsunami passing through Jesus’ body until ‘it is finished.’  Powerful stuff.

I don’t know about you, but the acute understanding I have of God’s power and God’s wrath makes me realize that I don’t want to experience the wrath of God on my own… and guess what?  I don’t have to. 

Jesus left His throne in Heaven to show up on earth, to show us the way to live, to teach us about the Father, and above all to endure the wrath of God for the sins of this world; he rose from the dead and now we live in the hope that His sacrifice will bring us to Heaven.  To my non-Christian friends (that are still reading at this point!), this is what Christianity is all about and this is what you proclaim when you become a Christian.

It wasn’t until recently when I started feeling the weight of my sin and trying to bear the trials of life on my own.  It wasn’t until even more recently when I finally relieved myself of this anxiety and Jesus’ death and resurrection which is completely redefining my life.  Knowing the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice, knowing that my hope is not in or of this world, releasing myself from the burden of worry, guilt and pride  – I am provided with the blessing that I get to live each day with “inexpressible and glorious joy” and I will be celebrating Holy Week in a whole(y) new way – it’s not just Good Friday, it’s GREAT Friday. 

P.s. my apologies if you were offended by my Palm Sunday Facebook status: Shaking my bon bon while waving my palm palm – it was just an overflow of my inexpressible and glorious joy 🙂

HOPPY KEESTER EVERYONE!!!!  (   )(   )

Job: Thoughts on Suffering

7 Dec

This is a post about the book of Job (like robe with a J, not like my workplace.. haha), but like all of my posts… there’s a backstory:

I go to this incredible church in Boston called Park Street Church and we have an AWESOME ministry of about 200+ people in their 20’s (or in their 30’s and think they’re in their 20’s) that I’ve been pretty involved in since I moved here.  Tuesday nights myself and a few other people lead a Bible study called “Connecting Group” for people in their 20’s looking to connect – not just a clever name!  I’d say we average about 30-50 people each week that are either new to the city, new to church, don’t have a small group, or all of the above; the range of faith is unreal and I love seeing everyone interact.   That said, I also happen to have some hilarious stories from Connecting Group – awkward would be an understatement 🙂 Kind of like the time my icebreaker question was “Say your name, where you’re from, and your worst/best/embarrassing/hilarious injury.”  Yeah… we changed the question after the first girl to talk gave us a detailed account of a spinal tap and everyone either stared at the ground as to focus their thoughts away from vomiting, or at me begging me with their eyes to stop her.  It’s always an adventure and it always keeps me growing – I love my Connecting Group family! 

We are currently doing an Advent study and this week’s topic was Job.  If you know anything about Job… think of trying to lead a discussion about it in a group of people that you’ve never met, that are from literally all over the world, you don’t know if they even believe in God, most of them are well-dressed professionals, but the unsettling question lingers if one of them even has so much as a place to rest their head tonight.  Talk about tough stuff.  “Oh and make sure you come back next week, we’re going to talk about gouging out your eyes!!”  haha…  Job is not the easiest topic to present to a group when you want to impress them with how fun/family friendly your church is.  Anyone disagree??

Now I went to a Christian university, but I am by no means even remotely close to a Bible scholar… the mandatory Bible classes that I took freshman and sophomore year were great and all… but they were also at 8a :/ I don’t have all the answers to the questions of faith/God/religion (praise God) and I find my faith to be extremely different than a lot of Christians I’ve met… for better or for worse, we may never know.  So last night before our Bible study on Job, the only thing I could really think to do was what I do every week: pray that God’s truth be revealed and that the people in my group would leave encouraged.  How can Job be an encouragement, right???  I had an intense struggle with this story in college and have found great encouragement from it believe it or not!

So before I share my thoughts on Job, let’s get on the same page and briefly recap the story together (in Sarah terms).  Job is this super great guy that loves the Lord and has everything you could ever dream of… huge house, manservants, maidservants, great family, hot wife, vacation homes, boats, cars, in-home movie theater, gadgets/gizmos of plenty, whose-its and whats-its galore… thingamabobs?  He had twenty.  He was a big deal and incredibly blessed.  Satan, seeing how faithful Job was to God, attacked (of course) and said to God “There’s no doubt that Job is going to worship You, You’ve given him everything.”  God is offended and knows Job better than that… so he says “Satan.  Get real.  Job loves me, not for the fancy stuff I give him or the nice things he has” (sounds like a few past relationships I’ve had… haha).  Satan, out to prove a point, challenges God and says “Alright.. if you think he’s so faithful, I’ll take away everything you’ve given him and we’ll see how faithful he is then.”  Game on.

Obviously that’s not an entirely accurate recount of the story (the quotes might be a little off), but it’s the jist… trying to accommodate all walks here.  So God allows Satan to strip Job of everything… all his material things, even his family, even his health.  WTF, right??  Job is a great guy!!  People in his life have different responses to this suffering (for lack of a better word… frankly ‘end times’ seems more appropriate); his wife tells him “God did this to you.  Curse God and everything will be back to normal.”  His friends pull the karma card and say “All have sin and fallen short… you must have done something horrible that you’re either not telling us, or that you just don’t remember.”  Real encouraging, friend.  Thanks.  Job won’t curse God, but he also doesn’t seem to feel like he’s really done anything wrong.  I don’t know about you.. but I can honestly say that I’ve had each one of these responses at various points in my life.

I’m going to let you read/research the end of the story for yourself… it’s pretty awesome.  If we’re being honest with ourselves though, most of us don’t get that far, the end of the story that is – we get caught up on the ‘Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  Why does God allow suffering?”  Those are pretty huge questions, and I think they’re worth discussing.  Like almost everyone that’s reading, I’ve endured some suffering and at times in my life felt like I’ve lost everything.  Here’s my take on it in relation to the story of Job…

First and foremost, we tend to forget that God has an enemy.  As real as God is… Satan exists and will do anything in his power to remove us from the love of God.  One of the women in the group last night mentioned that for the most part believing in God is pretty socially acceptable (people may not agree but it’s accepted as normal); believing Satan exists is like believing in a fairytale, and I totally agree – what have we done to this story!?  Satan is at the root of evil and HE is the one that strips Job of everything, not God. “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire   So my answer to ‘why is there suffering in the world??’ would be: Satan exists and is very real, and shame on us for our selfish hearts, influenced by Satan, to allow children in this world to suffer from starvation.  Seriously.

God and Satan are in a constant battle for our hearts and Satan found someone that had no reason NOT to trust God.  The guy had everything.  If we wanna be real… Satan kind of has a point there – wouldn’t more people love God if he was a genie that gave us everything we wanted?  God’s promise to the world is salvation, He does not promise worldly blessings… now if you try to tell me that you’re not blessed we’ll start a whole new conversation.  How exactly did you tell me that? Oh with the air in your lungs?  Point Sarah.

The question still remains: Why did God allow it?  At the root of it, I believe that God trusted Job.  Kind of crazy to think about… God trusting one of us enough to take on Satan on behalf of Him!  Reread God and Satan’s conversation (my version above is great and all, but I recommend reading it in true form here); my take is that God was so confident in Job that he said “Alright, go ahead and try to make him unfaithful.. but Job’s love for me is real and it’s not the blessings that he loves, it’s Me.”  Try to imagine God saying that about YOU.  How honored would you be to hear God speak of you that way and to trust you that much… Maybe he has!  What if God’s response to Satan’s challenge was “Ummm actually… can you go for Blobe across the street?  I need to get some stuff squared away with Job”  I’ll say it again: I believe that God allowed Satan to strip Job of his earthly blessings because God trusted Job.  The creator of the universe trusting one of us to withstand the attacks of Satan so He may be glorified.  So He may win the battle.  So the world may know Him.  Evil does not win.  (No pressure)

I can’t say that I’m always encouraged when I suffer, or that I don’t ask questions, or that I don’t lose faith, or hope, or even sight of the big picture… but my encouragement from Job is that in my suffering, God has told Satan… “You can go ahead and try, but this one’s mine.”  When we are faithful to God, Satan loses.  God wins.  Humbling to say the least.  Even more humbling to know that we have a Savior that blamelessly walked the earth, understands our suffering, and we have a God that is close to the broken-hearted.

Needless to say – Connecting Group got REAL last night.  Mad love to my brothers and sisters that participated in the discussion 🙂

Grace: As learned from the Boston Me(T)ro

15 Nov

I’ve  lived in Boston for over three years now, which means I’ve been car-less for the same.  I’ve developed calloused feet, a city stare and a brisk walking pace to get me to where I need to be in the quickest, most efficient and direct way possible.  As independent and tough as I like to think I am, my life in this city could not be possible without the T.  You heard me, I need the T!  I love the T!  I mean sure… it’s got its issues, but $60/mo for unlimited riding – that’s less than one tank of gas in the SUV I drove in college.  I’ll take it! (If you don’t recall, I’m extremely cheap

Those of us that include the T in our daily lives however, know better than to believe that the T is a magical cart rushing us through a wonderland of fairies and rainbows… it’s smelly, loud, often off-schedule and completely unreliable.  Riding the green line between Park Street and Boylston offers the most cacophonous sound you’ve ever heard, the B line always smells like b.o., you never know if the puddle on the seat is a result of the leaky windows or somone’s bladder (I’m looking at YOU drunk homeless man!), and it never fails that the train you need to get on is always the last to come.  In all its faults, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the Grace that God offers us through the T.  Think I’m crazy?  Please read on.

First and foremost, the T is what I like to call the ‘great equalizer’ – anyone can ride the T… you will see business men reading the WSJ on their iPads while sitting next to a hipster college student with piercings and tattoos balancing their array of musical instruments and textbooks, across from the old lady with her canvas grocery bag who is next to a schizophrenic man in a tattered Pats jacket (aka: my morning commute).  There are not of things in the world that would bring so many people to one place, and I love seeing the diversity of age, salary, race and personalities of the people that ride the T.  The beauty about Grace is – everyone is invited, everyone is allowed, and everyone can accept it.  God brings the most outrageous, unexpected groups of people together to further his kingdom – His love and grace is intended for everyone… even the obnoxious high schoolers that crowd the D-Line on my way home from work 😉  Even me.

A friend of mine always makes fun of me because as soon as I leave my house, I make every effort I can to get to my T stop as quickly as possible… generally this means I am jogging/looking ridiculous; I only do this because I want to know that I did everything in my power to make the T and I don’t want to wonder if I could have made more of an effort.  Grace is a gift that we can’t earn, but that does not excuse us from the responsibility and ownership that we need to take of what we do with it and how we respond to the Grace we receive.  “Shall we go on sinning that Grace may abound?  By no means!”  Which leads me to my next point… Grace is in fact a gift, a very humbling, undeserved, precious gift.

There’s a bit of a hill (more of an incline if you ask me) at the end of my street on my way to my T stop, and when I get to the top of it I have a good view of the tracks.  If I see the T pulling up or even idling at the stop, I run.  No – scratch that, I sprint.  The guys from Patey & Sons Plumbing get to watch this at least three times a week… I can only imagine what they say about me 🙂 There are days when a T coming from the other direction will box me out and my T will leave without me.  There are days when I make it to the stop and the driver ignores me and drives away.  There are days when I make it to the stop and the driver maintains eye-contact as they drive away.  And of course there are days where I make it in just the nick of time.  The one that gets me though is mornings like today when I just didn’t feel like running.  I’m tired, I’m worn out, I’m thinking of all the things I need to get done and gosh dangit I will STROLL!!  Today I breached the top of the hill and saw the T idling… I’d say I was about 50 yards away.  I was too tired to run, and frankly didn’t really care if I made it to the office 7 minutes earlier than I would if I caught the next T… so I strolled.  I was still a good 30 yards away and the T driver shut the doors… I felt confident in my decision to not waste the energy to run, and I continued at my stroll pace to take in a little more fresh air.  The T was still sitting there.  I had to make the decision… do I risk looking like an idiot and feeling like a complete failure to start sprinting now, or do I just want to continue to stroll.  Yup – I’ll stroll.  As I got close to the tracks, I realized the T driver had to shut down the T and he had just started it up again… still strolling, I crossed the tracks in front of the T and this is generally when you will hear the driver ding the bell and drive away without you – what did this guy do?? He opened the door and let me on.  There was no sprinting, no puppy dog eyes, no flailing of arms… there was absolutely nothing I did that warranted him opening the doors for me, and he did.  I feel like it’s the same with Grace – when you are the most undeserving, when you are the most down, when you just don’t feel like trying… Grace is given to you regardless of who you are and what you do.  It truly is a humbling feeling to know that nothing in your power is going to cause us to receive Grace or have it taken away; it’s a gift of love that is always available to us.  Wow… take that control freaks!! (Talking to myself here…)

Believe it or not, the T is in fact on a schedule (tell that to the B-Liners!) which causes huge issues when you actually try and follow said schedule… following a schedule?  Go figure.  How awful does it feel when you’ve been waiting for more than fifteen minutes for a T that’s supposed to show up every six minutes, and when it comes it expresses right past you?!  On the contrary, how incredible does it feel when you’re ON the T that expresses and you end up being earlier than expected?? I used to look up the schedule before I left my house/office and realized it’s utterly pointless because the T is its own beast and will show up when it damn well pleases because well… it’s the T!  In a much more perfectly complex way… God’s timing feels like this to me.  Sometimes things happen in a timeframe that is exactly what we’ve prayed for, exactly what we expect and exactly how we planned.  Great.  Let’s talk about MOST of the time how things just express past us, how they seemingly never show up, or how we have to completely adjust our original plans around because of it;  our lives are completely out of our hands and completely perfected by God’s Grace.  God’s timing is perfect, his Love is flawless and his Grace is beyond comprehension.  Having faith in The One who controls the universe might just allow room in our schedules and expectations to be in His timing and recognize that He is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator whose hands created the universe.  Now do I feel the same way about the T in that regard… hahaha absolutely not… can’t they just get their schedule right??  How often do we (I) say that to God?

Finally, my favorite thing about the T: I don’t have to drive!  As much as I love driving (hence the thousands of thousands of miles put on mine and Beth’s car in college making for some AWESOME road trips… minus that one time…), I love the fact that I don’t have control.  I don’t have control of when the T shows up, I don’t have control of how fast or slow we go, I don’t have control of stoplights, or changing lanes, or getting cut off… I am at the mercy of the system and its driver… I get to sit and read a book, do Sudoku, attempt to fill in crossword puzzles, or just get lost in my thoughts for 20 minutes of my day 🙂  Can this be stressful? Of course.  I want the T to show up on time, I want the driver to go faster, I want the doors to open and close at my will — but it’s not going to happen.  When I felt like I could control these things… I found myself as an extremely bitter commuter.  When I accepted that things aren’t always going to go as I planned them… I found inner T-peace.  I’m sure you’ve already made the connection here… but let me drive my point home if you will (pun absolutely intended).  How great is it that the Creator of all things holds our lives in His hands and drives every living being??  How much peace can we experience when we open our hearts and minds to the Truth that He has a plan for the world and it is unfolding in His time??  How incredible is it that in His perfection He allowed us to make mistakes, give up, walk away, and yet He still offers his Grace and Mercy to us.  I am thankful we have a God that lets us fail and is always there with outstretched arms to receive us in His Grace.

Who would have ever thought the T would be a lesson in Grace?!  Now if the T is a reflection of grace, then I’d probably relate the bus to… hell?  Haha just kidding…  kind of… I’m still not completely sold on the bus idea.  I’ll work on it 😉