Saturday, July 19, 2014
Morning Rush Hour, Greensboro, NC
I attend a men’s prayer breakfast at 7:00 on most Thursday mornings. We enjoy good fellowship, a better meal than I’d probably have at home and share personal praises and concerns. We then dismiss and go our separate ways. Some go off to work and others move on to wherever today’s retirement agenda leads them. I like the thought that transitioning from work to retirement is simply moving from a life of success to one of significance.
Today wasn’t much different than most Thursday mornings as I drove in the rush hour traffic after breakfast. I’ve found that I actually enjoy driving the long way home to relive the experience that was so much a part of my life for so many working years. There’s a sense of camaraderie as you glance around you at multiple lanes of vehicles migrating to distant office parks, retail malls, school buildings, production plants, warehousing centers, downtowns, airports, etc.
I witnessed many familiar scenes today as I observed young women making last minute touches on their makeup and young men straightening their hair or using an electric razor. Folks were hoisting their cell phones at every stop light to get caught up on the night’s texts and e-mails. Mothers were giving instructions to the unseen child in a car seat behind them or possibly calming the family dog in a crate on the way to doggy day care. And dreary-eyed men were sipping their ubiquitous Starbucks Grande coffee cups as they attempt to ramp up their heads for the morning’s challenges.
As I moved through an urban business park, I recalled that I was generally fully engaged by the time I parked my car in the company lot. The commute had given me time to gather my priorities and my sense of urgency to tackle a new day. I was locked, loaded and primed to dive into all the opportunities cleverly disguised as problems. Every day is another chance to grow and learn and expand your circle of relationships. And since challenging work is generally good for us if we keep our family, spiritual and career life in balance, I was excited to see how life would unfold.
Admittedly, there were also those exceptional days when driving to work with all the other nameless faces could only be compared with voluntarily taking yourself to a beating. Like those mornings when you were faced with sitting down with associates you had known for years and explaining the terms of their termination. When I catch myself getting nostalgic about those mostly good days at work, I just conjure up one of those repressed dark days. And when the string of vehicles ahead of me begins exiting off the roadway and into a corporate lot, I simply look straight ahead and placidly drive on.