Tuesday, November 8, 2011

sunday drive-by

Yesterday was Sunday.  That means I had to interrupt my typically peaceful and relaxing morning walk to perform death defying feats of evasion, leaping regularly with my dog over the ditch on the side of my road to avoid the cars that came careening, yes careening, around the corner and down my street.

You see, there is a church at the end of my block. 

These drivers, who so often catapult past me and my dog, taking out mailboxes and white-knuckling their steering wheels, with eyes locked on the prize of the distant parking lot, are going to hell church.  When did the traditional "Sunday drive" become a "Sunday drive-by?"

And I'm so shocked by the offenders.  These are not young male drivers maneuvering hot red sports cars; these are folks of the gray-haired variety, in camel hair coats and big high powered sedans.  Others are primly dressed couples in mini-vans who have kids wearing clip-on neck ties and mary janes lined up in the seats that blur past me. 

My street is also a cut through for rush-hour traffic, but the Sunday drive-byers put the weekday commuters to shame.  Perhaps the insurance companies should move those who claim to attend Sunday services to the high-risk category? 

Shouldn’t worship of any variety inspire good?  Whether you call it serving God, serving humanity, or being mindful, it all amounts to the same thing: leave this earth a better place than you found it. 

Like camping: leave the campsite nicer than when you arrived.  

If you speed through someone's neighborhood, ironically catching a little air as you crest the hill just outside your church parking lot, I think you've pretty much canceled out any brownie points you might have accumulated by attending in the first place.  In fact, you just might come out with a deficit.  I'm pretty sure that if God bothered to notice that you arrived in church at all, he/she also noticed how you got there. 

So, the next time you're late to worship, despite your best efforts to leave on time, make the world a better place by slowing down and embracing your lateness.  Walk tall when you enter the sanctuary, interrupting the opening prayers.  Whisper to your fellow parishioners with a scrunch of your nose and a knowing nod of your head, "we drove the speed limit." 

They will lift their chin and say "Ah, yes," and smile at you appreciatively because they know as well as you and I:  it's not the destination that matters so much in life as the journey.

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