Construction of Norman's "long-awaited Robinson Street railroad underpass," as it was described in the Oklahoma City newspaper, has begun, and I'm looking for a new church.
For months -- actually, years now -- I've curiously followed the discussions and votes involving this step of community progress. After the project was approved, I've watched as houses and businesses have been vacated and then moved or razed. Whenever I've asked what effect this would have on the church located about two blocks east of the railroad tracks and one block south of Robinson Street, I've always been assured it shouldn't be much of a problem. But the latest newspaper article, plus all of those before it, make me think otherwise. Add to that nearly 28 years of commuting at least 20 miles to and from work and about that many years of driving across town for church, and I'm pretty sure I have reason to be concerned. Construction detours are no fun. And, living west of the tracks, I see no way around this one, unless I find a different church.
Of course, that's not what I will do. As good timing would have it, the desire to just avoid the situation arose the evening before Wednesday morning prayer. So, by time I drove to church, stayed awhile to pray and then drove home, I knew again: No excuses. Construction may be an obstacle, but it can't be an excuse. I may be late, but I won't be absent -- not because of construction detours, anyway. Even as I write this, I'm trying to make it a commitment. It's not going to be easy. I know from experience that if I'm running late and get stuck in traffic, there will be a strong desire to just head home when I finally get out of the traffic jam. And I know from experience that the chances of me leaving even five minutes earlier to partially offset the construction delay is unlikely.
Maybe the best I can hope for is to use the impending detours as another opportunity to persevere through a challenge (a relatively minor one, I have to admit) and also to remember there's no time like being stuck in traffic to count my many blessings!