Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Sunday was quite the interesting day. I left home for Mass 45 minutes before Mass began and I arrived half an hour late. The parish is about 20 minutes (on a good day) away. So why did it take us so long to get there? Easy: use of public transportation.
Both mom and I use a transportation system that works very similar to public transportation (i.e. buses, trains, etc) with the only difference being that they take us to the exact address. It's like Uber but cheaper and you have to book the trip the day before. There's always the chance that it's a shared ride... which is what happened to us on Sunday. But this wasn't the 2-3 person share ride, as usual. Oh no. We had to pick up and drop off a couple of people along the day and just when we were 2 miles from our parish, the driver received a message that he had to go back and pick someone up. No, he couldn't drop us off first; he had to drive back a couple of miles before driving back and dropping us off. Seriously.
So how did it start? Well, there was an elderly lady who was picked up before us and was therefore already inside the van when we were picked up. She asked if we were going to church and we confirmed that we were. She talked about how her husband used to be a pastor and how she learned to swear in different languages as a P.E. teacher. lol. From there, we went to pick up another lady who was going to her own church as well. So all 4 of us women (plus the driver) began our way towards our respective churches.
The elderly lady was the first to be dropped off. She attends a nondenominational Christian church. She wished us a blessed New Year. As we made our way to the Baptist church to drop off the next lady, she talked about being a prayer warrior which was actually quite inspiring even if she talked about things that weren't accurate (no, not theologically). After we dropped her off, we headed towards our parish. However, the driver was told to drive back and pick someone else up. Her own ride had abandoned her and our driver would be her "rescue" ride.
This lady (also quite older) was... quite understandably upset. I wouldn't be happy if my driver had bailed on me either. The way she spoke to the driver -- and then to us -- surprised me. She, very accusingly, asked him if he knew he was late. He tried to explain that her trip was a last minute addition to his scheduled route but she wasn't hearing him out. Then she got into the van, turned around, and in a snitty tone asked "where YOU late, too?" I explained to her that we weren't. In fact, we were on our way to church when we had to turn back for her. I explained it maybe 2-3 times before she was somewhat civil towards the driver and us... though that passed when she saw that we were getting dropped off first and that we were going in the opposite direction than her church.
We finally made it to Mass... half an hour late. I stayed in the back (the unofficial crying room) because I didn't want to bother anyone who was already seated. While I was there, I couldn't help but watch the babies and toddlers. They were all so joyful and friendly with each other. During the hymns, the father of one of the babies sang loudly as he watched his daughter walk around and interact with other toddlers. At times little lady would look up at her father singing and simply smile before going back to what she was doing. It was quite lovely.
I learned three things from my trip to Mass that day.
First: I took the ride as a metaphor for how life is in general. You plan on going down the straight path towards God. Sometimes there are unexpected detours but you should always focus on the bigger prize: getting to the house of the Lord. Yes, I know that sounded cheesy but it's true. We planned on being at our parish the entire hour (and then some) but it didn't work out. (side note: I couldn't stay for the next Mass because our rides were scheduled ahead of time and if I miss one more of those I'll get my eligibility suspended, making it even harder to attend Mass while I wait for my car to be returned.)
Second: I could've gotten frustrated and annoyed -- like the last lady we picked up on the way -- but I didn't because I knew that it was beyond my control. Obstacles shouldn't deter one from our main goal. As I said, I totally understood where this lady came from (I'm not always patient) but I was also reminded not to make assumptions and to not snap at people when I'm in a bad mood. It's so easy to focus on yourself and how you're feeling when things are going your way.
Third: My desire for a family in the future -- and seeing the beautiful example the young man (who was around my age) was setting for his daughter by praying and singing the hymns -- just reinforced the certainty of my vocation of future wife and mama. The fact that it happened on the feast of the Holy Family made me smile. It also gave me an additional kick to get myself in a better, healthier state in the upcoming year. I definitely need to take better care of myself. Sometimes I don't because I put others before myself but I know I'm not of use to anyone if I'm not well. I learned that the hard way this year.
So there you have it: my Mass adventure(s). It was an adventure getting there and another adventure trying to not be distracted by the little ones even though I did learn a bit more about myself there (not mentioned but also learn: I have a lot of patience when it comes to babies).
Have any of you had any similar experiences?
Anyway, I must get back to my regularly scheduled work.
I hope y'all are having a great! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D