Saturday, December 12, 2015

Finding Our (New) Way

Another weekend is here! Toni and I are home. Our daughter Naomi is here too, with other music leaders from Roots Covenant Church. They've been practicing in our living room for an hour or so while I write in our guest room/office. Such beautiful music! They're here because Toni is going to be helping out at Roots on Christmas Eve while I am driving that late afternoon. I'm done that day by about 5:30 -- too late to join her and Naomi/Tim for worship but not too late for dinner at my brother's home.

It sure will be a different Christmas for me! I'm hoping I can get to worship with others beyond family somewhere on the 24th or 25th. We'll see.

Because of my regular split shift I've been able to spend some time at my mom and dad's on the last couple days. My sisters and brother (especially my sisters!) have been tremendously helpful with them over the last few years and I'm deeply grateful. Both mom and dad are getting up in years and neither of them are in the best of health. Yesterday I did a little online research about some medications that have been prescribed for them. Complex!

Strip map includes "pull out" to Northtown Mall,
a detour, and my "pull in" to Heywood.
Yesterday after my morning work I stayed in the driver room re-checking a strip map that I made for the work I'll start on Monday morning. Quite a few others were there too, doing similar things or getting ready to be trained on new routes. Everyone switches around this weekend going forward. I'm learning 6 new routes: 3 that I'll drive regularly and 3 others that I'll drive on Christmas Eve. Route 825 is my regular morning work beginning next week.*

It's good to recognize, and accept, the complexity of life and work. Our son Dan wrote something about this today on facebook. He said, in part:
"... Life is about learning, about new experiences; it is about facing challenges and about growing through them. Life is a journey of discovery and delight that can only be embraced with humility and childlike expectancy. It's not about having everything figured out or trying to be an adult, it's about realizing we are just children who are joyfully discovering life. Don't run from life, but embrace it and become fully alive!"
Route 825
I'm thankful, however, that I don't need to figure it all out by myself. Instructors, the metro transit website, google maps and specialized driver instructions make it possible to get ready. It would be stupid to just go out and think I could do it myself. I wouldn't be able to keep any kind of schedule. Lots of customers would get left behind.

How are you finding your way in the life God has given you? Do you think you can do it yourself? Or are you open to Someone who can help?

I wonder if the Bible is something like the maps and guides that are provided to drivers? The scriptures certainly don't give us every right and left turn, but they do provide an outline, a sense of where we start from, where we're going, and directions. They aren't going to tell us just how the traffic is going to be or just how we're going to need to set up our turns, so we will need to spend time, day by day, learning and studying, and talking with others who are also following the Lord Jesus, asking their prayers and seeking their advice.

There are many new things every day and every year. Working a new job, living now with parents who are getting older and older, finding our way in new local churches and new relationships -- all of these things mean we can't just do it the way we always did. Let's share some of those experiences together so others too will face their challenges and grow.

Yesterday was the end of the last week on the routes I have driven since October. There were many kind words, two official "commendations" and a couple nice gifts from customers. My eyes teared up more than once as I realized I wouldn't be seeing these same people day after day as I have been doing. My colleague Ron said he got choked up too, as he was saying good-bye.

What new ways are you being called to in the next days and in the new year? Going back isn't an option. Let's let each other know what challenges are new for us so we can walk and ride and drive together. Don't go it alone.


* My work will be consistent from Monday through Friday. Drivers who are full time sometimes need to learn all the 50+ routes that are driven out of Heywood Garage. That will be a challenge if I am called to full time.

** Here's the driver map/instructions for the route. We use maps like this to make turn-by-turn strip maps (example above).
Driver Map - not drawn to scale.

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