i drive about 45 minutes to work every day. there are a couple of different routes i can take, but regardless of which way i go, it always takes me 45 minutes.
if you live in metro atlanta, my commute is average. if you live elsewhere, you may find that number shocking. but i actually don’t mind the drive to work. I don’t drive on the interstate, instead i take a lot of back roads. my route is filled with lots of farms, relatively little traffic and an occasional close encounter with a deer.
but there is one section of the commute that stresses me out—the four-way stop. i have been driving for almost 27 years, but i still get very anxious with a four-way stop. it’s not that i don’t know the proper road rules. i get that. but it’s one thing when the rules are on the page, and it’s another when real life people with their own agendas and distractions are navigating who goes when at the four-way stop.
once i get through those, i’m free and clear. but i always feel like i’m not doing them well. after clearing the intersection, i’m always second guessing my performance. did i go too early? was it really my turn? should i have left both those cars go first?
i freely admit that i’m a little bit neurotic, because there is one other area of my life that has that level of high anxiety, and it happens every sunday morning at church.
the passing of the offering bucket.
for some reason, i get anxious when the ushers start heading down the aisle row by row. i start looking around me, thinking through my strategy. do i need to walk the bucket down to the other side? what if i don’t have anything to put in this week? after all, i don’t get paid every week. can i explain that to someone? what if i drop the bucket?
actually that last question is completely legit because when i was in children’s church in elementary school, i dropped the offering plate (yes, we had plates back in the day), and the coins scattered across the concrete floor. it was quite traumatic. well, i guess that’s obvious, huh?
but i’m never quite sure that i do the “pass the offering bucket” well. and i’m terrified that someone will ask me to be an usher because that brings up a whole new level of anxiety about the whole thing.
so if you go to church with me, and one sunday i break down and start screaming, “here, take my money. just leave me alone,” please know that the usher isn’t holding me up, it just means i snapped from all the pressure.
then again, if i do scream that, maybe it would increase giving at church. now there’s a thought.
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