I was up early to head over to Constitution Ave for the Cherry Blossom Festival annual parade. I have been volunteering at this parade for 3 years now. It is one of the reasons I love living where I do. I get to meet people from all over the country who are here for various reasons. Today, my bleacher section was mostly tourists in for a week, with a smattering of band parents. The band parents are my favorites. They are so enthusiastic. It was a great time! People are amazing, even in the rain and mud.
I was also pleased to be able to cheer on the Timpview High Marching Band from Provo. I know, sacrilege, I am an Orem High Tiger (and will remain true forever...I promise). But there is very little representation from Utah in the parades out here, so I’ll take what I can get. Lol!
Afterwards, I was to hit up the National Mall for D.E.A.R. Unfortunately, there was rain off and on all morning and I decided to head at home instead. A change of clothes and a bit of breeze and rain coming through the open windows in my room was the perfect setting for my latest book. Which turned into a 6 hour nap. Apparently I have been going pretty strong these days and needed to rest. Lol!
When I woke up, I decided I was in the mood for a chuckle. Last night, I had watched Accepted (a cheesy but funny movie that, ironically, provided me with my Kellmett fix even though I couldn’t see his latest. Thanks Jess!) and I wanted to continue with that theme. I had recently received Evan Almighty from my blockbuster queue and figured that would fit. It did…but didn’t. It wasn’t the type of movie where you shut off your brain and just laugh at the stupid antics. Maybe it is just my frame of mind. I found it to be a movie that was full of humorous (possibly sacrilegious) jokes that in the end taught us that we must have faith and trust in God. That God has a plan in mind and only wants what is best for us. Even if it seems to be hurting more then helping at times. I was particularly struck with a scene between God (Morgan Freeman) and Evan’s wife Joan Baxter(Lauren Graham).
Set up: Joan takes her sons and leaves Evan after he declares to the United States Congress that God talks to him and that he has been commanded to build a boat. She thinks he is crazy (which I can totally understand……Maybe that is the reason I am still single. Lol!) Anyway, Joan is sitting in a diner listening to people make fun of her husband. God decides to have a short chat with Joan. He appears as her waiter and they have a short discussion about her life. A discussion in which she doesn't say much.
Joan: Oh, excuse me, can I get a refill please?
God: Coming right up.......Excuse me. Are you alright?
God: (just looks at her...)
Joan: No. It's a long story.
God: Well, I like stories. I'm considered a bit of a storyteller myself.
Joan: My husband, you heard of New York’s Noah?
God: (chuckles) The guy who’s building the Ark.
Joan: That’s him.
God: I love that story; Noah and the Ark. You know a lot of people miss the point of the story. They think it’s about God’s wrath and anger. They love it when God gets angry.
Joan: Well, what is the story about then, the ark?
God: Well I think it’s a love story; about believing in each other. You know the animals showed up in pairs. They stood by each other, side by side, just like Noah and his family. Everyone entered the ark side by side.
Joan: But my husband says God told him to do it. What do you do with that?
God: Sounds like an opportunity. Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience do you think God gives them patience or does He give them the opportunity to be patience? If they pray for courage does God give them courage or does He give them the opportunity to be courageous. If someone prays for their family to be closer do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings or does He give them the opportunities to be love each other?
God:Well I gotta run; lotta people to serve.
Now as you can guess….Joan goes back to Evan and they work side by sided to build the Ark. The love part, while great, isn’t what made me think, today. It was the second part, about the opportunities. All my life I have prayed for help to become who God wants and needs me to be as part of His great plan. I have always known that, as individuals, we grow by how we handle the opportunities that we are given daily. When I pray for things like patience and knowledge, am I using the opportunities given to me on a regular basis to learn patience and gain knowledge? How can I expect to continually become a better person if I am not taking the opportunities presented to me? What about love for my fellow man. When I ask Heavenly Father to help me to love others as He loves them, do I actually try to love others? How can I expect to love if I don’t take the chance to serve? Is there any greater love? There are so many opportunities to serve others every day. Not only the fun big things, like volunteering in parades, but the little things, like helping the tourists who get stuck while trying to use their metro fare cards. (Yes, annoyingly, that happens frequently) If I am not taking advantage of these “opportunities” how can I expect to grow? How can I expect to be the person that I am supposed to be? That I expect myself to be?
Now…it is after 11 pm and I am going to get in my 30 minutes of reading before crashing. I think I’ll make it the Book of Mormon, instead of my current novel. Happy Saturday everyone.