I spoke on Meditation this week, beginning with a story of a man named Robin. Do you see yourself in his story?
Robin wakes up once again to the beeping of the alarm clock, and hits snooze one more to see if he can squeeze out nine more minutes of sleep from his morning. He didn’t go to bed until well after midnight last night, and hasn’t gotten more than 6 hours of sleep any night in the past week…
As the alarm goes off again he looks at the time. Great, now he’s going to be late. He jumps in the shower, thankful that he has the special 2-in-1 shampoo, so he doesn’t have to take all that important time up having to use two bottles. He runs into his bedroom and tries to find something to wear in the disaster he calls a closet. He finally just grabs the clothes he wore yesterday, gives them a quick sniff, throws them on and bolts out the door, skids into the kitchen, grabs a banana and a granola bar, and prays that God will miraculously open up the traffic the way He did the water for Moses at the Red Sea.
He gets in the car, and hears that familiar “ding!” that reminds him that something is wrong with the car… but he doesn’t have time to worry about that right now. As he’s pulling out of the driveway, there’s another “ding!”, and he sees that he’s out of gas. He doesn’t have time for that either, so he prays that God will miraculously keep his tank full enough so he can get to work.
On the way to work Robin dodges in and out of traffic, weaving from lane to lane, cursing the transport trucks and anyone who gets in his way. His mind flies through every map he’s ever seen of Ottawa, wondering if there is a route to take that would shave valuable minutes off of his commute. He mentally reminds himself to check the map later… he’d write himself a note, but he’d probably crash if he looked down to find a pen.
He pulls into work, and gets through the door with seconds to spare. He throws his banana into his locker and walks straight into doing his job.
When lunch time comes, Robin goes through is daily routine of grabbing a coffee, checking his e-mail, updating his Facebook status, looking at sports scores, and looks over the paper in the break room. Then in walks Phil… or is it Paul… whatever, it doesn’t matter. He starts with “Hey Robin, how’s it goin’?” “Oh, great”, Robin thinks, “he wants to chat.” Robin pretends to be busy doing something, and asks “What do you need… uh, man… I’m right in the middle of something.” “Oh, sorry!” is the reply, “I’ll leave you alone.” And he walks back out the door.
After dodging that bullet, Robin decides he really does need to get back to work. The end of the day comes and Robin wonders if he’s done enough… if not he’ll just put in some overtime later to catch up.
On the way to the car a catastrophic thought strikes Robin’s already very tired mind. “Oh no… it’s Jane’s birthday tonight!” Now he’s torn. He’s tired and doesn’t want to go. He probably should, seeing as it’s his sister, but he didn’t have time to get a gift, and he’s already looking at a list of things to do at home. All he’s had to eat today is a banana, 5 coffees, and some Timbits someone brought into work, so he’s hungry… and no one likes someone comes to a party hungry and eats all the food. His clothes don’t smell right, and if he went home to shower and change, he’d probably be late. Jane probably won’t mind if he misses the party… although he did miss last year’s too. But he sent her a really nice e-card a couple days later.
And Robin is getting upset again… “Jane is always asking for things like this. It’s always about her. Doesn’t she know I have things to do?” And Robin decides there and then not to go. So he quickly texts Jane with an apology and says they’ll catch up later.
When he gets in the car Robin hears “Ding!” and then “Ding!”. And his head hits the steering wheel, when he realizes that he’s going to have to stop for gas. The first “ding!” will have to wait another day.
As Robin pulls into the gas station his phone vibrates with another e-mail. He pulls off the gas cap, shoves the pump into the car, and gets to work replying to the message. But the longer he stands there, the more impatient he gets. “Don’t they have the technology to make gas pumps any faster? They can put a man on the moon, but they need to me to stand here for this long to put gas in my tank?” “Click!” goes the pump, Robin hangs it up, and rushes into the store, still trying to finish the e-mail on his phone.
But there are two lines in the store. Robin quickly sizes up the lines. Who has their wallet out? That guy’s got chips and a pop which will take longer. So he picks his line… but keeps looking up from his phone to see if the other line is moving faster so he could jump into it if need be.
After waiting an agonizing 5 minutes he finally pays for his gas, runs to the car, fires it up, hears the familiar “Ding!” and speeds away… leaving the gas cap on top of the car, and the little gas-door open.
As he’s shoulder checking to see how narrowly he can cut someone off, he notices the open gas door and lets out a couple of swear words. Now he’s going to have to go all the way back to the gas station! Robin is angry again.
On the way back his phone rings. “Hi Robin, it’s Paul.” “Yeah, what?”, Robin barks. “Robin, I think we need to have a chat. Can I come over tonight?”
“Oh, I don’t know Paul… I’ve got a lot do to.” Robin replies.
“Ok, well, give me a call sometime when you’re free.” Paul replies.
Robin goes home, and now it’s getting late. He heats up some leftovers for dinner, leaves the dishes sitting on the counter, checks his e-mail again, updates his Facebook, sits down in his chair and flicks on the TV. A passing thought rolls through his mind… “Maybe I should go to the party.” But he puts it away. Another thought… “Well, maybe I could call Paul.” But he puts that one away too. “I still have to do some grocery shopping.” But he’s too tired. “Maybe I could read some bible before bed.” But he puts that thoughts aside too with the conclusion that he’s too tired to concentrate on it anyway. Now he feels tired and guilty.
After too much time in front of the TV watching nothing-in-particular, it’s late again. Too late. He’s going to pay for this tomorrow. Robin groans and slumps off to bed. Before his eyes close, Robin prays to God in his mind, “God, I sure wish I knew you better. I wish I had some more friends. I’m sorry for getting upset so much today… and yesterday. God, please take care of my mom…” and before he has time to finish that sentence he’s asleep.
Do you see yourself in that story? What would you say to Robin? Would you call him a deep person? A friendly person? A focused person? What will his life look like in 5 years?