Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Call You Friend




I spent the whole day yesterday sitting or in the car. First I met an old friend for coffee and realized that sometimes the people you spend the least amount of time with are the ones you should have spent the most amount of time with. After that lovely hour, I drove home for my daughter, Asherel, and we headed out to the Community College to get her parking pass and math book for her dual enrollment courses next semester. We arrived only to discover the college is closed for the summer on Fridays. A half hour drive each way for naught. Still, it was good practice for Asherel, who takes her driving test in a month. We had lots of near catastrophes - merging into a lane filled with trucks, cars cutting us off to dash across 4 lanes, construction suddenly slowing traffic from 60 to 5 mph unexpectedly. We spent a little time behind a car that had a bumper sticker for some church. It said, "Relationship! We don't practice religion." It seemed odd on first blush. A church that didn't do religion.
All that driving gave me the opportunity to mention (again) pearls of wisdom, cultivated from years of driving. I think they are what my mom told me when she taught me to drive. I have always taken them to heart.

"Two things you must never forget when you drive," I advised my student driver, "One: The car is a lethal weapon. Always remember you have the potential to kill or to die with it. Two: Always assume everyone else on the road is an idiot and will do the wrong thing." We had many opportunities to test both edicts.

We were still not home, out on errand #367 when the dogs' dinner time arrived. I am the dispenser of Honeybun's medicine for her nerve issues, but I carefully instructed my husband on what meds to give her in my absence. Our messages crossed and he gave her an extra nerve block. I don't think it will hurt her, but it will wipe her out. That will make two of us. All that driving and shopping with my teen girl, and pounding my nonexistent brake while she drove wore me out. I had been out of the house, mostly in the car, from 10 until 5:30.

Some days are like that. Filled with errands and must-dos from beginning to end. No beautiful river while floating on my kayak listening to birds, sighting osprey and communing with nature. Just diesel exhaust fumes, frantic masses of cars all around me, and endless roads filled with necessary but uninspiring tasks. Still, when I got out of the car, with our final errand, bags of Chinese food for dinner, I looked at my daughter and said, "That was fun."

I have two years left with her before she dashes off to college, graduates as the last student of my homeschool, in continual operation since 1990. Then I board the windows and put out a sign, "School Closed." Not all moments spent with those you love are doing the things you love...but the things you do are not as important as who you are doing them with. I don't know if Asherel understands that YET, but I do. I understand and I praise God for the day in the car doing errands. Perhaps the message is just what the bumper-sticker on the car meant, "Relationships. We don't do religion." It is not about what we do. It is who we do it for, and who we do it with.

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My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:12-17 NIV)









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