Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Straight Paths

The beginning of the movie Bella is a man quoting his mother, “When you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday I had a list of things to do a mile long, and I was convinced I could get them all done before their respective deadlines. With relief I checked off each item. Trying to multi-task, I turned on the oven to preheat and sat down to fill out my local ballot, for which I had made zero decisions. The efficiency was already starting to wear away when I realized I needed my laptop and had just turned it off. Forgetting what was behind and reaching forth to what was before, I pressed on.

And spent about 45 minutes on my computer learning about candidates and issues. All the while the oven was preheated and empty. When I finally finished my ballot, the time it would take to cook lunch and eat it would eliminate one item from my list. I chose to skip the library, because I didn’t have time to watch or listen to the items I had reserved anyway.

After lunch I ran my errands. Mom ran hers, too, agreeing to meet back at the house in time to depart for Bella. The theater I chose was across town, the one offering the cheapest tickets. (Even though we broke even for gas, I like to boycott expensive movie tickets.) Before we left, I checked my email one more time to see if any friends had responded to my last-minute invitation to join them.

By the time we got across the city, we were about ten minutes early. But being out of our neighborhood, we didn’t know where the theater was. I saw one on the left side of the street; Mom turned right. Finally I explained I saw the sign across the street, so we made it over there. Like a theater ashamed of its existence there was no marquis. We parked and went in, but did not see Bella listed. Sighing, I asked the cashier, “There’s another theater across the street in the mall, isn’t there?”

Back in the car, we returned to the exact spot we had accidentally visited earlier, but still there was no theater in sight. You know how malls work, though; you can start anywhere and get anywhere, especially in this one, which has a shortcut through the food court. So we parked. I hurried in and analyzed the map while Mom followed. At this point the listed start time of the movie was already upon us. I found the theater on the directory and took off in the direction, hoping my recent venture into map-reading would pay off.

The whole race I was coaching myself, “God knows what He’s doing, Lisa. This is for a reason. Relax.” Finally through the mall and across a little drive, we entered the theater, bought our tickets, and were at last standing just inside the door for screen 12. And everything was pitch black. The movie was just starting. Once there was a little more light, we found our seats and heard the line, “…tell God your plans.”

Hang with me, I’m not done. About twenty minutes into the movie the entire screen went black. Small fluorescent emergency lights began to flash and a calm voice informed us that an emergency had been reported in the building; everyone should move toward the exit. Outside we moved back across the little drive.

My brother has this laugh and dance he does when life is so unbelievable. Rosalee on Win a Date with Tad Hamilton says, “Yikesabee.” I sit down and watch with a smile ready to burst into a laugh. Some people say, “You just can’t make stuff like this up.”

In the end we got free movie passes for anytime, any in the family of theaters, with no expiration date or restriction – and we got to finish our movie after a mere 15 minute intermission. I would have been fine if they carried sodas and popcorn to us on trays, but then they were already over the top on customer service.

The drive home was one of those times of perfect peace. I was trying to figure out what I thought about the movie without thinking. Instead, feelings were just filling me, but not in an I’m-going-to-burst sort of way. A nice thing about being the passenger is that you can pull your legs up into the seat and pretend that even though the world is flashing by at 60 miles per hour, you feel like you’re in a cozy library with a mesmerizing fire to watch. At one point a car out my window exited the highway and I realized I’d been watching it for miles. Outside the sun was setting, leaving shadows and light mixing in a way that is only accomplished by the looming presence of large hills in the west. Peace is a nice thing.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

To God be all glory.

3 comments:

kschaub said...

I need you to write a book.

Thanks.

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I don't get it; as in, instead of blog long posts?

'Cause I'm trying to write a book, actually three, and I get distracted.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

either way. no, that was a good, almost 'travel writing'-like blog.