It is about a seven-mile drive from my house to my office in the Conference Center. The journey takes me north on the East Beatline to Cascade over to Fulton and down to the Conference Center. Most mornings it is about a 20 – 25 minute journey depending upon the lights I make and the traffic.
Over the last several months I have been listening via my iPhone to a daily web cast called Pray-As-You-Go. It is a wonderful British production that begins with music—a very eclectic selection from monastic chants, to African hymns, or American guitar. Next is a Scripture reading followed by questions to ponder. Then some brief music followed by a repeat of the Scripture passage and ultimately a closing Gloria Patri. The whole thing is between 8 and 10 minutes long. I have found it a wonderful way to start the day.
But the contrast of what is playing inside my car and what is going on outside my vehicle on my way into work has caused something of a disconnect for me on too many mornings. As I am listening to the Scripture and trying to take in the beauty and the challenge of the day’s reading, often someone cuts into the traffic in front of me. Other times as I am listening to the worship music, I am trying to maneuver into a better position so that I can move more quickly through the traffic myself. And so on too many mornings as I travel to the office listening to the monks sing and contemplating the Scripture reading, I find myself shifting instantly from meditation into yelling at the idiot who just cut me off! And as I was going through this ritual the other morning, I just started laughing at myself. I had to shake my head in amazement at how easy it was for me to move instantly from contemplating the depth of grace, to the condemnation of the other driver who dared to get in my way!
What a long way I have to go on this journey towards holiness. The evidence is clear, in so many ways, that I have only just begun. I am so grateful for the grace God continues to offer me, God’s forgiving and empowering love that I do not deserve. Maybe someday I will learn how to really offer that incredible grace that I have received in abundance to everyone around me. Maybe even to those driving on the East Beltline in the morning.