Traveling alone, especially in a way or place that is new, has one advantage. You can watch, experience, and gossip with yourself about the people along the way. Even things as simple as how you arrive at an airport, rest before the flight, and queue for the multiple security checks carry their own lessons, humor, and puzzles. Yesterday, traveling from old Madras to Bangalore was no exception.
The journey from the hotel to the airport was a example of wood floating down a turbulent river. Swirling all around a late model, dark window, deep red Mercedes were people, bicycles, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, vans, and the occasional cow. The evening commute was in full swing and people were obviously worried about getting home late or preparing for the exciting night out on the town. Some traveling alone carried the burdens of the week in their eyes and face. Others blissfully gazed out into the future white diving in and through the quickly changing currents. And then there were the pair, chatting away as if they were in their own private world, suspended in time, while their bodies carried on the job of ducking and weaving to unknown destinations.
The airport contrasted extreme courtesy and politeness with crass shoving one’s way to make sure you were ahead of another. Short vignettes played themselves out in front of all as businessmen tried to take oversized luggage onto a commuter plane. While all this worked itself out, there was a contingent watching without moving, reacting, expressing emotion, or even seeming to care.
It was easy to reflect on the scenes. The recurring proverb echoed. “Live wisely and wisdom will permeate you life; mock life and life will mock you.” (Proverbs 9.12)
Yesterday, I saw a caricature of myself playing out in a random set of scenes. The lesson I took away came from this. To float continually is to mock life and be its victim. To fully and completely live one’s life, now that is something that can shape my day from beginning to end! God is the key.