I'm flying down the road. Late. As usual. It's seven-thirty in the morning. I'm wondering if I was half mad when I scheduled this appointment because I can't imagine willingly arranging to have my mouth probed at this time of the day.
Green digital numbers remind me that I overslept. I don't like to be late. I feel like I'm stealing the dentist's time.
There's a string of traffic in front of me. It slows. Stops. And I understand that we're going to wait for a train. The blasted train that moves at a death-crawl. The train that inches over the tracks and then goes into reverse for some hitching process.
The train that takes six or seven minutes to complete its business.
So I sit, fingers laced tight, my head running a crazy clip of the rest of my day. Places to go. Things to accomplish. To-dos that stretch far and wide. It brings a rope of stress. It tangles around me and feels altogether too tight.
And then I see him.
He's walking down the sidewalk. He's lanky. Thin. Tall. He's moving in a motion of gangly appendages. But there's a bounce in his step. He looks light. His arms are swinging. His legs are moving. He's carrying a cooler and he's dressed in washed out blue.
But what grabs my attention the most is his mouth. It's opening. Closing.
This man is singing out loud.
I want to roll down my window to hear, but his song would be covered by the clatter of the train.
I wonder where he's going. To work, most likely. I wonder what he's singing. I'm drawn in as he throws his head back and sings.
And suddenly I don't care what he's singing.
I only know that I want to sing, too.
It's a beautiful day. Crisp and clear. The sun is still strong. It's warm - a gentle spring heat. Not-too-humid. The day is fresh, ready to be unwrapped. Unrolled. There are people to love and kindnesses to be shared. God's love to be enjoyed and reveled in.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 ESV
The man continues down the sidewalk that ribbons along the road. The train finishes its hitching thing and traffic begins to move.
I'll probably be late for my appointment. I'll apologize.
But as I step on the gas, I notice that my hands aren't gripping the wheel in white-knuckled anxiousness anymore. The knot of stress, the tangles of troubles and time, have relaxed.
I press forward toward my day. Toward the good things that await.
And I drive along, I begin to sing.