The Beltway at rush hour– Spiritually, it can be a beautiful thing

Thank God for my car!

My uncle had an uncanny sense of appreciation. He pasted on to my generation a propensity to thank God for the most unusual of things. For example, my wife laughs at me every time I drive by a bus stop. Often, when I notice a bus stop, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for my car. Until I was well out of college, I did not own a car. I rode the Metro buses and subways everywhere. At that point in my life, I did not ride the Metro because it was the most convenient way for me to get to school or work. I rode it because I had no other choice. Without the Metro, I would have to depend on rides from friends and classmates and I certainly could not afford a cab.

The “70” bus

If you grew up in my part of Washington, you know of the “70” bus which runs from somewhere in Silver Spring, down past Howard University toward the National Mall.  It goes though some of the richest and poorest neighborhoods in the District.  Therefore, riding this bus is often an adventure.

I told my wife that I cannot recall how many times I would be waiting on Georgia Avenue for the infamous “70” bus and look at people sitting in traffic. Many of those folks looked annoyed at the traffic and I would lament silently, “You don’t know how blessed you are to have a car!”

Prayers for the pavement

Living with traffic is part of living in the Washington area. And cursing the Beltway is very much part of the Washington experience. So, here is a lesson. The next time you are in traffic because of an accident, thank God that you are in the traffic and not the accident. Then pray for those folks in the accident who would probably gladly change places with you at the moment. Or, the next time you have to endure rush hour on the Beltway, be thankful for the employment that caused you to get on the Beltway in the first place. And when you are slowed up going home, thank God that you have a home in which to go.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving – even if you spend some of it on the Beltway.

2 Replies to “The Beltway at rush hour– Spiritually, it can be a beautiful thing”

  1. When I was in high school, and used the bus to get from a summer school program in Gaithersburg to my home in Silver Spring, I learned the Law of Bus Transfers:

    The bus you get off arrives at the station AFTER the bus you need to get on leaves.

  2. I am always thankful for my car, even when people try to run me off the road, or cause me driving headaches, because my car gives me a sense of security and safety that public transport hasn’t and doesn’t. I used get really angry at selfish drivers, who cut ahead when we are all stuck in a gridlock, but now I use the time to pray, or enjoy good music, or think. Great post!

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