LASTING TRANSITIONS

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Punching Underwater

My 5am back-window view

Church service ended and after saying a few quick goodbyes to small-group members that I attended lunch with earlier, I headed outside into the blistering cold that seemed to have suprised everyone, including myself. I was a bit annoyed about it actually, but not just the cold. I was also slapped with conviction that pricked my mind amid the 5-minute walk to the crosswalk needed to reach the bus stop across the street that I use for a straight-shot home. While waiting amid a hoard of eager Gangnam shoppers with trendy shop bags, or “Gangnamians” as I sometimes facetiously like to call them, I spotted the bus in the corner of my eye cutting through traffic and making it’s way to the bus stop. Unfortunately, I was still stuck bitterly waiting for the chance to cross the large inner-city street when the bus stopped where I needed to be in order to catch it. My first thought was to make a suicide dash across the busy intersection leaving all onlookers behind in pursuit of reaching the bus in time and getting home conveniently. I took one step into the street, looked both ways, glanced at the bus, and then veered up at the traffic light at the exact moment when it was turning green to yellow. Those few seconds felt like a lifetime. I leaned forward with my legs slightly bent and shoulder-length apart, and arched my back foot up like an Olympic sprinter eagerly awaiting the start of the race. With not a second to spare, I jumped the gun without a care in the world and began sprinting across the intersection; Carl Lewis wouldn’t have stood a chance. Just about reaching the halfway point, the bus sped off like a prized race horse. After taking a few more strides in despair, I essentially stood in vehement disbelief and dropped a few loud F-Bombs. I admit, maybe it was more than a few and a bit louder than I wished , but for some reason I was supremely perturbed. Who wouldn’t be?

Probably on any other day I would have waited the 30-45 minutes for the next “special” Gimpo-to-Gangnam bus to come, but the fact that it was so terribly cold left me with no choice but to take the express metro, which was fairly nearby anyway. It would get me at least 70% of the way home where I would then have catch a bus at the end of line, which is not a problem, but it all adds an extra 30-40 minutes to my trip that can be avoided if I were to catch the bus in Gangnam.

As I was nearing the express metro with just several more meters to go, the doors closed in a flash and I stood veering into to metro cabin with many passengers looking up at me without the least bit of remorse or concern for me having swiftly missed my ride home. That’s two-in-a-row, I thought. At this moment, I released a few more loud F-bombs as I was again angered about the inconvenience.

Didn’t I just come out of church service? Why would I say such things after hearing such a great message and had time to settle down and praise God with other believers? Something else must have been bothering me. Thus, despite my utter frustration, I spent the next 10 minutes waiting for the next express metro to arrive and used the time to I think about how I lost my cool over a matter of simple travel inconveniences, in addition to examining a few other things that have been on my mind. In any case, I hardly ever get mad at people, gosh, hardly ever; I sometimes just seem to get upset at circumstances when they don’t go my way. This could stem from a control issue, or just the simple fact that I’m impatient, or unhappy about something, but in any case, I just hate, really hate, wasted time, when it could be salvaged if only, yes, if only, I had left a few seconds earlier or cut a corner somewhere along my journey. However, thinking like this only adds to my frustration.

Well, last weekend did not start out to be the most optimal. Just a few hours before I was supposed to leave work for home on Friday afternoon, I was told that our school was a having a “special” dinner that I needed to attend. I don’t mind going to these dinners as it gives me time to freely chat with teachers and staff, but last-minute planning tends to be intertwined into Korean culture, and I haven’t generously warmed to it just yet. My Friday night plans were cancelled, and despite the nice dinner, I was fairly annoyed.

During this same evening, in addition during the last few weeks, my teeth were constantly throbbing, and it looks as if I may need to get braces because my front teeth seem to be steadily moving, which I imagine will be a costly investment. The thought of this has only aggrandized my disenchanted disposition, but I will meet up with a Korean orthodontist this Saturday, whom is a friend-of-a-friend of mine that speaks good English, and I hope to ascertain what is going regarding my dental health. I’ve been grinding my teeth at night and the problem may be stemming from this, but who knows, I may need to get “grill’d.”

Recently I also have not been able to get a girl off my mind that I met a little over a month ago that has somewhat turned into a mild acquaintance. This girl has such natural, subtle beauty, and gracious smile with beautiful eyes… wow, those eyes… I could look into them forever and it wouldn’t be a wasted life. Her personality is also very pleasant and benevolent, but after briefly chatting with her on a few occasions, I did not feel the slightest bit of interest from her towards me at all, not at all. It bothered me at the time, and it still mildly bothers me now. To top it off, I recently found out the girl I dated for a short time last summer and whom I really like and have gotten to know, has acquired a serious boyfriend. She and I have become fairly good friends, but when she broke the news to me regarding her serious boyfriend, half of me congratulated her, whereas the other half silently sulked in agony. I obviously still feel something toward her that I cannot deny.

Well, after getting on the next express metro that arrived and taking it to the end of the line, I was then able to quickly catch a bus heading to Gimpo. With just one stop away from where I needed to get off, I spotted the exact, yes, the exact Gangnam-to-Gimpo bus that I barely missed after attending church. I was taken aback. The bus must have been stuck in traffic somewhere in Seoul or something, and it was at this time that I realized that my frustration and F-bombs were for nothing. For some propitious reason, at this moment I also realized that God has his plan for me and that I shouldn’t go through life fighting every little inconvenience that comes my way, but just roll with life’s punches and solely ask and trust in God for assistance when times get tough and with the things I fervently desire, which is something that has been very hard for me to do, but must do if I wish to be closer to Him.

3 comments on “Punching Underwater

  1. Cassandra James
    March 15, 2012

    I miss those rides with you and I really miss Sunday morning services with P money!!! We need to skype soon!!! Keep on writing…

  2. Jeanie
    April 25, 2012

    It is refreshing to have a Christian be so honest with his daily walk. I sometimes have those days too, but find it difficult to utter a word of my frustrations with anyone in fear they may look down on me. Thank you for sharing you walk with Christ and in Korea. Very exciting times!

  3. Marisol
    April 27, 2012

    I agree with Jeanie. Very encouraging.

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2012 by in South Korea.

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”

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