I deal with perceptions far more than I want or would like. Depending on the situation, the interaction can leave you energized, demoralized, or simply puzzled. Two situations recently brought the paradox into clear focus.
The first was on a hot, humid, New York night. The cabby appeared young, energetic, and spoke brilliant English. I was totally exhausted. Every fiber in my being was crying out for sleep. The lingering impact of an eighteen-hour flight, twenty-hour work-days, an overall uncertainty stress were taking their toll. My body was in tears from life’s punches that day. As we sped from midtown to the lower east side, I found myself on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney. The fear from the ride and my exhaustion mixed together, periodically waking me up or sending me into a temporary sleep. Either each cycle I found myself increasingly at his mercy. I had no control and it did not feel well. As we slid into the parking spot of an unfamiliar building he announced we were “here”. I struggled to figure out where I was. I knew I was anywhere but where I should be.
The second was in the middle of Singapore on a typical hot, raining, summer afternoon. The taxi driver was older than old. His thick glasses, and pushed up under the steering wheel posture created a picture of someone slow and not quite with it. Every move forward, each turn was painful, slow, and seemingly dangerous. I wondered if this man should be driving! As we crossed Chinatown and went on passed the university I thought we were never going to get there. Why had I given power over my life to this man, even for a time? As we approached Sophia Road, yet another near disaster unfolded. As I wondered he turned to me and said, “it is so hard to give my customers a safe experience in a world where people just do not care.”
“Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?” (Isaiah 53.1)
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