It's been a rough 24 hours or so, and I am not feeling great about a lot in life. You see, I try to do good things, and I try to play fair, yet all I see is those that are not deserving being rewarded and then I see myself struggling against adversity after adversity, unfairly heaped upon me.
I try to enjoy life, but even the things that are right to do bring distress.
Last night I attended the Men's Bible Study at church. My timing was off because I worked later than expected and so I could not prepare dinner for Amy and myself before I had to go. She told me she was okay waiting and to go ahead to the church. The study was enjoyable, about 45 minutes of lead presentation followed by 45 minutes of group discussion at our tables of 6-8.
The title of the study is Transformation. The focus last night was whether we have experienced authentic transformation or pseudo-transformation. The example used to illustrate the difference was the story of the Prodigal Son. In short there are two brothers, the younger asks for his share of his inheritance. Dad gives it to him and he goes off and wastes it. A famine strikes the land and the now broke son gets a job feeding pigs and is so hungry he's eat the pigs food. Realizing Dad and bro are doing well back home, he decides to head home and ask for a job there, because he'd have food though no status other than field worker. To his surprise when he gets home he apologies to dad and instead of getting a job, Dad accepts him in as his son, clothes him and holds a feast/party. Well, older brother finds out and goes nuts because dad is celebrating the return of the wasteful one and has never given him anything special for being good and obedient.
The study guide basically says the younger, wasteful son experienced authentic transformation, and the older son exhibits characteristics of pseudo-transformation including being critical of others and feeling unfairly treated. I can't argue that I identify with the older son, and by the book's definition, I am or have experienced pseudo-transformation.
So, Bible study ends and I get ready to leave, still planning to go home and cook dinner, and I had time to swing by the Christian Bookstore before it closed. I got to my car to find a different vehicle parked next to me than when I arrived, and this one was angled in such a way the rear tire was across the line in my space and I could not get my door open enough to get in on the drivers side. The position of the center console and my fat ass prevented me from climbing over from the passenger side, so I was stuck. I waited about 10 minutes as the ladies study was ending and no one came to the other car. I noticed a parking sticker for the local university in the window and realized it must be a student at the college-aged ministry meeting. I went back inside to their room, where they were playing music and singing (some call this worship) with all the room light off and stage lights on the stage where musicians played.
I noticed one of the associate pastors at the back of the room wearing the standard ear-mounted microphone, so I went to talk to him. I explained my problem. He said there was nothing he could do and I would just have to wait, it should only be about 7 more minutes. My intent was not for them to stop playing altogether, but perhaps slip up and make an announcement between songs, it would take all of 10 seconds. Instead I went back to wait for another 20-25 minutes. When the young lady driving the car that blocked me arrived, I pointed out the situation, and she apologized, but it did not sound very sincere. She was a tiny thing, and had an equally small friend with her who had to struggle to get into the car on the passenger side because of her friend's parking job. I wondered what the pastor's response would have been if the girl's car was on fire or otherwise damaged? What would it take to "interrupt" the "worship experience?"
So I was in a foul mood and came home and cooked dinner for Amy, but being 3 and a half hours than the originally planned dinner time, I was no longer hungry (I did not eat anything in the interim), and Amy got stressed over my mood.
So come to today and my dealing with the county and the state auto tag offices. I live in one of 11 counties in Georgia where an emissions test is required to get your tag renewed. I had my test done about 3 weeks ago, and it passed, but the tech who performed the test mis-keyed the VIN # on the test. The tag office would not accept the test for that reason and gave me two options, go back to that facility and get it redone, or go anywhere else and get it redone. They would not recognize and correct for the human error. Well, the test was performed at our family mechanics' which is 45 miles from where we now live. It would take 2 hours time, and $18 worth of gas to go there and back versus $25 to retest here on our side of town. I opt for the local test and it fails.
The tech suggests trying it again when the engine is not warmed up as much, so I went back today without driving anywhere beforehand. The part of the test I failed requires a reading under 1060. Our mechanic got a 970, last Friday I got a 1460 and today it read 1268, so it was better. I went to the tag office and tried pleading my case demonstrating I have a passing test (from January), but now they are stuck on the fact it failed on Feb. 1, and I need a new passing test dated after 2/1/08. Our next thing is to try this Sunday. We'll drop my car off at the testing facility on the way to church, and on the way home, a few hours later, we'll retest and see if it passes being unused for that time. Otherwise it will mean garage diagnostics and repairs in order to get my tag decal. BTW my tax has already been paid, they are just withholding the decal.
In the great scheme of things, there are greater problems people have, but these are the things that have me relatively mad at the world.