He wouldn’t stop talking. He called seemingly every single person in his phone to tell the same story and catch up with long lost friends. With every call he said, “I called you last week, but you didn’t answer.” Then, invariably in the same call, he would say, “I’m not one who calls people.” He talked about whether or not “the church” was true based on whatever topic they were discussing. He shared how he had talked his way into an upgraded ticket on his next flight. And he laughed… this really weird laugh that had my skin crawling up my back every time it rolled out of his mouth – which was every 5 seconds.
And I was trapped with him. Riding a shuttle between long distance cities is an experience that everyone should have, at least, once in their lives.
Generally, I am easy going and I let people do what they’re going to do. It usually doesn’t bother me if someone has a creepy laugh or can’t stop talking. But, last night, I was not on my game and, by the end of the 4-hour ride, I wanted to throttle him.
And, no amount of me ho’0ponoponoing myself into oblivion helped me at all.
No matter how much I tried to love him and accept him, I just couldn’t. I wanted to push him out the sliding door of the van at every single stop. And by the time I landed in SLC, I was exhausted with the battle of trying so very hard to find the God in him, to love him and appreciate him.
There are times, when I am faced with things like this, that I question myself and all I stand for. And it’s generally at these times that my Beat-Up Saint comes out and begins punishing me for being less of a loving person than I “ought to” be. I strive to be loving and forgiving continually.
And sometimes, I fall far short of my goal.
Last night was one of those nights.