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Control

March 27, 2019

21 of 40

It had been a long day.

At mid morning, I went to look at two churches that are merging, finding a way to meld to survive, and bring joy to necessity in combining two places into one.

At the end of the day was a meeting with another place of worship to help a place thru another change, this one completely different: Unlike being compelled to combine or die, these folk were committed to change positively to thrive. Only controlled by how much money they could raise.

I am focused on how much money I could raise, too, payroll is Thursday.

Drawings, meetings, calls, emails filled all the moments before during and after these moments. A 10 hour day much like any other. So when I could find a happy place to create the end of twelve hours of work that I do every day, it seemed like the sardine thrown to the seal. Good Boy. Well Done. You Earned it.

Final scheme emailed out, I popped into the car to hit New Haven and talk of a third House of God, but while having drink in a great place with a great human. At the moment I left, two cars collided 5 miles west of me.

I followed the counter rush hour, easy traffic flow for 10 minutes, 10 to go till fun, all after a day of performing, the latest day of performing of 40 years of performing. The performing is not drudgery, it is a gift. Things evolve, I help, sometimes good, sometimes hard, never sad, always pushing the same rock up the hill, till it goes down the other side and I slide into another and push.

In all the effort, I control at least the effort. If not the results.

Not tonite, last night.

Those two cars, facing a setting sun, had hit each other, one knocked over on its side, and all traffic fully stopped for a mile west of their impact. Whether one or both was Spring Rutting in hubristic FU driving or just blinded by the sun, I was frozen.

In a split second I saw that could cross two lanes of traffic and get off on an exit, but I was in the left lane, these things usually ease up, and I had 10 minutes to spare.

I then sat in my 2012 Honda Fit listening to sports radio, stopped for 40 minutes. Fully missing any chance at the day’s coda. When traffic creep started,  I eased off the highway after texting my friend, and ambled home to leftovers.

Control.

We lose it every day.

We want it every day.

In the car, with zero control, with my efforts at control fully mocked, I and all around me, and the two crashed cars, all had the one thing that we have which needs no faith, perspective, patience -control – cease to exist.

Oddly I did not yell. Or even feel frustrated. I had fought the good fight all this day, it was all I could do. Onto the next day. Today.

This early AM I found that the highway opened at 8:10 last night. The instant universal InterWebNet connection provided a whiff of control over at least the contours of my lack of it.

Two years ago my 21st Lenten piece was written at a time where my control was also prevented, where I was controlled. I was in Yale Hospital, many things attached to me. I would be there for 100 hours.

I was not angry, afraid or even distracted. Stuff happened, I followed whatever coach (a great doctor) said I should do. Which was not much, except heal.

When someone cuts me off in my car, or really anywhere, I rage. When I lose a job (as I did last week) I feel personal failure, as I do when I have to go into the credit line to meet payroll. (Maybe, maybe not, this week).

But last night, as with Piece 21 two years ago, I did not even have the opportunity to effort control, save the split second when I could have cut through traffic to get to the exit (and probably been the next accident). I did not. And I did not have a drink with my friend and plot and plan on yet another place.

Maybe things change after enough proof that failure is, in fact, always an option. Sometimes you, I, fail. Sometimes it works out. But every time, in the end, it does not matter, despite the rage or joy.

In Lent the loss of control 2,000 years ago after 3 years of inexplicable triumph, is the history I am forced to deal with. It would be fine to say, “It all worked out”. But part of me wants to have Jesus die of old age, happy with kids and grandkids. Like every other person I know.

But he was killed. And then even death was not the controlling factor. Now that event is alive. Right now in these silent mornings. At Yale Hospital.

And I can’t control that, either.

 

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