This morning I made the drive to Baton Rouge from the west bank. Traffic was sluggish, but not the nightmare that it is sometimes. I didn't used to look at the Mighty Mississippi as a great obstacle. Years ago we crossed the I-10 bridge unhindered by any congestion, and we didn't think much about the big river below us. Now the bridge is hardly ever trouble free. The congestion these days has put me in touch with nature. As I creep along in bridge traffic and gaze down at Old Man River, I realize just what an obstacle he is!
Life flows like a river. There are worrisome times, hard working times, carefree times, times of leisure, and all those in-between times. My last few weeks have been hard working and worrisome - finishing up an online course on the New Testament with its comprehensive final exam - and sharing a family member's health scare.
I finished up the course work with good grades and the health scare turned out not to be as serious as we were imagining. I am immensely grateful to God. But stress is a peculiar thing. Sometimes, even when the things that you have stressed about are happily resolved, the stress lingers for a while. Feeling stressed almost becomes a habit, and it can take a little while for the joy of happy resolutions to banish the clouds. But the clouds are receding today and I feel the stirrings of joy.
No health worries for the time being. No more Tuesday noontime homework deadlines, no more lecture notes, no more assignments, no more tests! I’m tempted to behave like I did when I was a kid and school was out - take my shoes off and run around in the yard barefoot, relishing the carefree summer ahead. I'm glad to finish this New Testament course, but it has been a great blessing. I'll miss our online class meetings where we had good discussions and developed some new friendships.
I stopped at the post office on my way home and was delighted to find a letter from Spain, a postcard from Pennsylvania, and one from California. More joy!