Normally, my car is a pretty lonely place. I drive by myself, listening to music on the radio, generally (because it distracts me from thinking, which is often necessary to make driving more pleasant), and try to get from one point to another with as little fuss and in as little time as is safely possible. However, every once in a while someone gets to ride in my car, and those moments are fairly unusual. In fact, although I have been driving since I was 16, when my family thought it would be good to have an extra person in the house who could run to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, there are quite a few friends of mine who have never or seldom been passengers in my car. I’d like to think that I’m not unfriendly, but truth be told I haven’t asked many people to ride in my car, and not all of those times have been particularly successful (one painfully unsuccessful request springs readily to mind).
So, it is somewhat odd that today I should have three separate people all in a hurry, it would seem, to ask me for a ride in their own ways. First, as I was on my way back from Tualatin, feeling in a rather grim mood and listening to my new favorite Portland Adult Alternative station, I got a call from an acquaintance of mine who lives a couple hours away from me and who has been trying to encourage me to visit the local congregation he attends more often. I had it in mind to visit at some point this summer, within a few weeks, and was happy to help drop off someone so that they could attend a picnic there. Good (free) food and fellowship sounds good to me at any time, and particularly a time when I am feeling particularly stressed out and harried with life’s concerns and anxieties.
When I finally arrived home and checked my e-mail, I found that someone else had asked me for a ride to services, and I had to decline because I had already committed to the first ride. Then, not too long after that, I got a call from someone who wanted to ask me for a ride but did not end up doing so because apparently he thought I would not be very welcoming to giving it. It made me feel a bit sad that someone wanted to do something but was not confident enough to make a request. To be honest, as someone who has almost as hard a time as Ado Annie does saying no, I am surprised I don’t get a lot more requests for that sort of pleasant spending time with others. Still, I do not believe in forcing kindness on others and in being too pushy myself about that. As well as I can guess what someone may want, I still want them to come out and tell me just so that I know for sure and am not relying on my intuition.
So, as odd as it may seem, a major theme of this particular Sabbath is ride requests. For someone who seldom gets any, to get three of them on the same evening does not appear to be entirely coincidental, though I’m not sure exactly what is going on there. I suppose we shall wait and see, though, as it is my hope to spend as much of this weekend enjoying friendly company as I can. I could use the encouragement, to be honest, and I suppose as someone who seeks to encourage others often that finding some for myself ought not to be particularly difficult. I hope that I have enough of my ready wit on tap so that I can provide my usual dry and self-effacing humor, even if I do not feel as cheerful as I normally would be.