We’ve been reading Ecclesiastes in the daily lectionary for a few days. I guess it’s good to read it at the end of spring and the beginning of the lovely summer, cuz the readings are purely a bummer. Talk about depressing!
“In my vain life I have seen everything; there are righteous people who perish in their righteousness, and there are wicked people who prolong their life in their evildoing.” (7:15)
Yep, and well shit happens as they say.
I was minding my own business yesterday, pulling out of a driveway onto the highway when I tapped the bumper of the car in front of me which had inexplicably delayed it start out onto the same highway.
You’d have thought I had deliberately rained down ruin upon the woman’s car. No dent, no lost paint, no gouge. Nothing, but a slight brush against the lowest bumper that may have been more dirt than anything.
She was beside herself at my incompetence. She railed against the powers which had given me license to drive. She was insufferably nasty to put it nicely. I went away shaking my head, which she also commented on (my being disrespectful to her clear right cause).
When I got to the church which was my ultimate destination, I figured to call the police. Something about this whole thing struck me as a bit too over the top. Who would guess that nearly the entire department closes at 3:30. A lone woman in “records” told me to simply call my agent and forgetaboutit.
This morning the woman called. Her insurance company would be contacting mine. Uhuh. I should be pleased to understand that although she was not at fault this would go on her driving record. I should be more careful in the future, if I was not to blessedly die by eventide. I sighed and called my agent and gave him the information.
Part of me was saddened by such behavior. Part of me was angry. Having had to process the horror of our deacon losing two grandchildren while his daughter remained in coma for more than a month and is facing a very long recovery due to an auto accident, I was hardly impressed by the tizzy this woman engaged in over a bump. But I refrained from informing her of this.
The Contrarian logically remarked that “that is why we have insurance,” and to forget it. There are lots of things in the world to be upset about, and he is right, this is not one of them. People more concerned about things than people, we will always have with us.
We all seem plagued by that to some degree. Politicians are more concerned about their power and being re-elected than they are in legislating for the benefit of the people. Most people are more concerning with making money and using that as a means of defining and evaluating winning and losing than in their relationships with family and friends.
We care more about results than in the doing of things, yet results are fleeting and the doing often takes all our time. We dream of vacations and toys and then have no time to enjoy them anyway. They sit as testimony only that we have achieved a certain level of distinction.
We don’t stop to smell the roses much, but usually we notice that it’s time to weed again. We find the downside of most things faster than the upside. We revel on short term quick fixes because we don’t have the patience (remember that post?) to devote our time to long term better outcomes.
We shortcut, and multi-task, we cut corners, and are satisfied in superficiality, as a means of getting by. Yet, most of the time saved is eaten up in just as meaningless drivel. We do more to do more of the same, and seldom experience really NOW moments. In fact, when we do experience one, we are awed beyond belief at the mystery of it all, because it’s such a new experience.
I made some rolls from scratch today, loving the warm scent of yeast, yet I was bustling around, making a marinade for the chicken, and washing the lettuce and preparing the dressing, while stopping to read the morning prayer selections, and finishing off another book.
I had minutes from last night’s Adult formation meeting to prepare and then the new Yahoo mail thingie had to run some special installation for an attachment (all of which took another 10 minutes) all so I could do it fast and seamlessly in the future. BUT I NEED TO GET GOING NOW!
Finally I get to blogging, and I can relax. Finally, relax. Before the next onslaught of busy work in the kitchen. Have the rolls risen enough to start the oven? Once dinner is over, my day is “officially” done. I’ve no more “shoulds” to attend to.
And in the fine planned out world I inhabit, sooner or later, another “shit happens” will interrupt my day or evening, and I’ll be forced to contend with issues I have no desire to fix but will be compelled to anyway. And some miserable person will eat bon bons and sip margaritas seaside on some unoiled beach. It ain’t fair I tell ya!
But it’s just the way it is. Forgetaboutit!