Friday, March 1, 2013

Wilderness Yearning: Friday in the Second Week of Lent

But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;
     I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud
     and saw the prosperity of the wicked.
   Psalm 73:2-3

“Who is that boy, what’s his name?” I demand.

My daughter shakes her head as she looks at me with mild amusement, “I’m not going to tell you.” And she is right.

She knows I only want to know his name because I want to know the name of his father, AKA the jerk driving the perfectly polished, high-end, sports utility vehicle that just blocked me in. I hate morning drop-off.

I hate the parents who assume they are the only ones who have someplace to get to and that traffic and parking rules don’t apply to them. I hate the drivers who double park and then sit there on their cell phones long after their kids have entered the school building. And I hate this man who pulled in front of me while I was patiently waiting, with my turn signal on no less, for a legal parking place to open up. Now he sits there with his flashers on, as if that excuses bad driving, while his son make not one, not two, but three trips back and forth to the car to get all his gear for the day.

I want the man’s name. I want to report him to the parent police. I want to give him an earful of just what I think about his fancy car and his fancy suit and his fancy job that makes him so important that he can ignore all traffic laws and all other parents who are dropping off kids and all the rules of common decency. I want a name to curse.

And just beneath my tirade is an ugly truth. Why don’t I have a fancy car? Why do I have to be so courteous and rule obedient? Why can’t I be super privileged?

But for my daughter’s bemusement, I might have slipped all the way. Her ability to stand outside it all calls me back to myself. I step away from the ugliness of envy. I let go of my desire for retribution. I reach my hand toward God, breathe deeply, and go on with my day.

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2013