Roll that Gas-pel Chariot Along

You’ve all seen that meme, Bad Luck Brian, right? Well, my friends and I like to say “Bad Luck Emma.” Basically, if something can go wrong for me, it usually does. And if something cannot go wrong, it sometimes does so anyhow. I’m not complaining- a lot of things go very right, and without my assistance.

Working the graduation means one thing to an SSO: Mario Cart. They gave us all keys and said, “Go pick out your golf cart!” I felt like I was on Oprah of something. There were carts of all sizes and brands, but I made the wise choice and made a b-line for the largest gas-powered vehicle I could find. I guess it was the Southerner in me. My rarely-expressive face cracked a gleeful smirk, envisioning my victorious vehicle lapping all the puny electric carts as we circled the parking lot. However, contrary to popular belief, the main objective of the carts during graduation is to taxi elderly and handicapped visitors from the parking lot to the graduation field. If I had kept that in mind, I might have picked out more reasonable auto. As it was, my clientele did not seem to appreciate the ride’s power as much as I did- and it turned out that power did not really imply safety. You see, the passage between the lot and the field is at about a 15% incline (at least, I think I am describing that correctly). It’s steep- that’s one of the reasons we were chauffeuring people to begin with. This incline, it turned out, was a bit much for my new wheels: the gas pedal took a good moment to get a response, so if I became stopped on the slope, I invariably lurched back a bit before taking off. And once I took off, I really took off. Add to this predicament the hordes of graduation-goers (literally thousands of people) who swarmed the crosswalk, and you have quite the obstacle course. There I was, on a cart laden with 7 elderly people (+walkers), stuck on a sloped crosswalk, swimming upstream against the crowd of apparently unsympathetic pedestrians. I tried not to appear terrified, but my supervisor later informed me that she could see terror painted across my face ( I suppose I am more expressive than I sometimes think). I was not the only one feeling uncertain: I heard one of my passengers exclaim, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!” as I excited the crosswalk. Now, for the sake of the department and everyone’s peace of mind, I want to make the point: it was actually a safe situation, no one was hurt, no one fell out of the buggy. It was probably worse in my head than it was in real life.

Another issue with driving the gas-powered version: when I had to drive a nurse up to the front of the crowd in the middle of the ceremony, it would have been nice to drive something that sounded less like a lawn mower. So, that’s that on that. What did I learn from all this? Next graduation, I’m taking an electric cart. Also, I realized that it would be much better to keep from coming to a complete stop.

I think that’s true spiritually, too. I think when we come to a stop, it is harder to move forward again. Naturally, we will be inclined to roll backwards down the crosswalk. And rolling back down the crosswalk doesn’t just negatively affect me-it affects the people who I am steering, and it affects the people who I roll back onto and squash. What about those pedestrians in front of me, who were disinclined to move? Even causing someone to slow or halt their spiritual growth may be just as detrimental to them as pushing them backwards, because it may have the same effect. And yeah, my Christian life might be disruptive to this world. It might be loud and awkward and all that. But if it’s a choice between helping save lives or keeping quiet in the background, I hope I drive up to the front row every time. Is that how we look at it though? I don’t think it is. I don’t I don’t think I make it that black and white. It’s easier to see the importance of things like that when they are physical and tangible, and easier to minimize them when they take spiritual perception.

So that’s all of my pontification for now. Update on life in general? It’s coming up on a year since I moved to Cali. I feel like a lot has happened since then. I am working at DPS this summer, as well as taking summer classes. I get to live in the classy apartments, and it is nice to have a kitchen for a change. I got a free surfboard from some freshman I don’t even know the name of, and I am hoping Sarah teaches me how to surf. We’re missing Matt already and enjoying our last month with Kiah for a while. Maggie is moving and Cooper and Maris are spending their last summer at home before ventur(a)ing into the world (see what I did there?). So here’s to SoCal summers with ocean views. Here’s to desk jobs and booth jobs and walking around outside jobs. Here’s to making my own food for the first time. Here’s to being in a better place this year than I was last year. Here’s to rolling right over Satan in my spirit-powered chariot. Or cart. Or whatever. Because if I stop, I know the incline is steep.

Well, I’m gonna finish eating dinner by myself now. When does Sarah get back again?


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