Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just Me, My Thoughts & Barney Fife

I’ve been doing some heavy thinking lately. I know, hahaha! You can smell the smoke from way over there. I get it.

In all seriousness, I have had a lot of consuming thoughts on my mind in the past few weeks. And the topics have varied far and wide. Stuff like the subject of community, proximity, the Kingdom of God, and how all these things intertwine to bring about the kind of fellowship that glorifies God and brings us joy. Stuff like how I’m so very happy in my life, and that stems in-part from being able to pour my heart into relationships and friendships with other people, to bless them through showing God’s love, and get the blessing of their friendship and joy in return.

All these things have become increasingly more prominent themes in my day to day existence lately, both through prayer times, scripture and just life experiences. Now it seems that they are occupying my thoughts in a pretty persistant way – in that oh, so subtle way God uses when He wants to get my attention. I don’t think I can escape whatever lesson is brewing. Nor would I want to.

Oh man, speaking of things occupying my thoughts (albeit unwanted), I am trying to work through what could appear to be a pretty raging crush. And it’s left me in one of those giddy, girly moods this week. Case in point? Everything looks pretty outside, and I’m smiling all the time. I can’t seem to get the song “Two of a Kind, Workin’ On a Full House” out of my mind. URGH! I even got busted singing along to the line “We’re playin’ for fun, but we’re playin’ for keeps” this afternoon. You know, that part where he gets all deep and soul sounding?

Could it be that I’m really a hopeless romantic at heart? Yesterday, when some good friends of mine announced their recent elopement to the world, I was just beaming with pride and joy, fighting back the tears swelling at the corners of my eyes. Granted, I knew weeks ago that they would be doing this (why am I the go-to girl for all brides considering eloping, who just need to get it off their chest?), so why should the readily apparent cuteness of it all be any surprise or cause such a girly rush of emotion? I know I couldn’t be happier for them, as I consider the perfect matching of these two wonderful and unique individuals and how they were able to tie the knot in the favorite place on earth (Mt. McKinley @ 7000 feet), on the 10 year anniversary of their first date.

I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, deep down, I really am a softy, with a great big heart of mush. Damn! Beneath this sass-talking, sarcastic, cynical, devil-may-care exterior, I cry at weddings, enjoy a good love story and have a huge warm spot in my heart for flowers, babies, puppies, sunsets and guys with good manners. To even admit it belies the tough as nails, intelligent, slightly cooler than thou exterior that I think I project. But that’s another story for another blog. And another lifetime.

In any case, this weekend, in the midst of the craziness, the non-stop woohoo chaos that was the bike trip, I reached a point on Saturday where I just needed some alone time. Just me and God and my thoughts. Some time to just be quiet, and listen. All the experience of community, as about 100 of us spent every waking hour together over the course of three days, combined with feeling the weight of a friend’s personal frustration at some ongoing interpersonal conflict on the trip, had me just a bit fried mentally. I just needed to take a walk and process what God was trying to tell me in the midst of all the noise. So once we got to La Crescent, that’s what I did.

You see, originally I had signed up for the 5:30 dinner at Corky’s pizza, which btw, was really good. But since I am a dawdler, and a daydreamer, and a napper, I was late as usual. As I meandered up to the door, I could tell already that I wasn’t going to get a spot to sit, and once I opened the door that fear was confirmed. But it wasn’t a big deal. It was the perfect opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through small town America. So, I just smiled, turned around and started zig-zagging up the streets of La Crescent on foot. Right about the time I passed the Catholic Church, having their Lasagna feed, I noticed a police car slowly strolling the streets. A few blocks later, I saw him again, just casually doing 10 mph through the streets of town. But it wasn’t until a few blocks later when I decided to peek my head into the window of a flower shop, and then cross over the street to do the same thing in another gift shop and library that I got to meet Mr. Officer himself.

No sooner had I crossed the street than he turned the corner, and pulled up to the curb in his cruiser. “Excuse me ma’am” he bellowed out from the car window. In all honesty, the first thing that struck my mind was “Ma’am”?? Really? Have I gotten that old? I love being in my thirties, but I feel more like a 25 year old, so being called “ma’am” is, yes, kind of a mild insult.

But that was neither here nor there at the moment, because he continued “You do realize you just jaywalked, right?”, to which I replied, almost laughingly, but certainly stunned “I’m so sorry Officer. I won’t do it again.” Then he said “Ok, well you have a nice night.” And drove away.

At which point, I started chuckling to myself, and took off walking up to the Pizza shop, with a new spring in my step, and smile on my face. I just got stopped for jaywalking. In Mayberry! Of course, when I got inside, and sat down at the table, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone what had happened, because I found it so oddly amusing. And as soon as everyone sat down, and was present, I did start to tell my tale. Not surprisingly, I received my fair share of Racial Profiling jokes in return, and this of course only served to amuse me, because maybe I am the darkest person La Crescent has seen all summer, but even then, I think I’m pretty All-American. I may be from North Minneapolis, but I ain’t ghetto, yo. And I’m certainly not Mexican.

In the end though, I didn’t quite get the quality time I was hoping for, nor was I able to work out the issues pulsating through my mind that I wanted to quietly process. But I did get my picture up at the local post office and Qwik-Trip. And a new reputation as the Bike Trip Bad Girl. The Faith Fugitive. The Camp Convict if you will. And of course a new and amusing story to share.
There will always be time for thoughts, and since they predominantly involve the subject of community, I’m sure that they will not be going anywhere for a while. Maybe I just need to take some time this week and go for a nice walk along the parkway. I better be careful though, I hear the North Minneapolis PoPo are kind of hard on jaywalkers.

No comments: