The chaos of the Chennai airport quickly faded into the darkness and a different kind of things coming from all directions but it must be ok because everyone but me is used to it kind of way. The traffic was as intense as a New York rush hour, only now it was almost midnight. As the chaos evolved into a recognizable pattern of vehicles honking, everything trying to grab that last space to inch ahead, I realized that we were trapped in a pattern that offered no escape. For me, this was a once a week or once every other week kind of experience. For those on the ground it was a normal. I could be nervous. The driver was calm to the point of appearing bored.
The questions continued as I took time to observe the chaos more closely. The traffic mix was increasingly predictable. There were families crowded onto a motorcycle and heading home. 3 and 4 on a bike with shopping bags were common, occasionally more. Another cluster were men and women headed to/from work. They were intense and focused. Most had left their smiles at home. This was part of the job, like it or not. Then there were those actually working. Truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, and auto ricksaws turned into a mini delivery van were weaving their way through, some with a careless urgency that put everyone else at risk. Did anyone have a chance of getting away from the crowded roads?
In my heart I knew the pattern was set. I could hear any one of them muttering David’s observation; “Hell’s ropes cinched me tight; death traps barred every exit.” (Psalm 18.5) Whatever I might think, they were on a path with no easy exits.
I am not sure I am much different. While the setting is different, the fact of the matter is that I have been following a repeating pattern. It seems like I am locked although even as I write I realize that the key to changes rests in the freedom that is within us.