Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Morning Commute

I'm an extremely fortunate guy in that my apartment is a mere ten blocks from my workplace, both of which are in downtown Chicago. If I'm particularly bushy-tailed and haven't hit the snooze button too many times, I'll walk to work. (Ten blocks in Chicago is exactly one mile). If it's a Saturday or Sunday when there's little downtown traffic and no rain in the forecast, I'll ride my bike.

Most of the time, the planets haven't aligned and those things just don't happen. I'm definitely not a morning person, either, for if I had my druthers, I'd get up at the crack of noon each day. Anyway, I have to take a shower and wash my hair because my morning-hair usually resembles a sea-creature striking a defensive posture.

So, I'll take the bus or the subway. Luckily, there are lots of different buses going my way so there's usually one of them sitting there, waiting to take my lazy butt to work.

Today, the #146 bus was the lucky winner. That one's usually pretty crowded with tourists, as it's main destinations are the various museums, and today was no exception. I got a seat but some lazy, inconsiderate lout had left newspapers strewn all over the floor at my feet. At first, I was going to kick them out of the way, but then I saw all the families on the bus with little ones and thought the better of it. Wouldn't it be horrible if a child or grandma slipped on the newspaper while the bus was lurching about, seriously injuring themselves? I gathered up the newspapers.

That got me to thinking, yet again, about the eternal question, Why do bad things happen to innocent people? Does God allow horrible things happen? If so, shame on God. Is God not powerful enough to prevent affliction? Doesn't sound like an all-powerful God, then.

It's all quite a quandary, really.

My humble observation tells me that it pretty much boils down to the fact that we humans have been imparted with free will.

For example, Hurricane Katrina was not, intrinsically, a bad thing. Affliction arose because we (and by 'we' I mean the Republicans) chose not to spend the money necessary to make New Orleans a safe place in which to live.

On the other hand, our free will can also be the cause of incredible goodness, love and beauty. In that sense, I think that's what it means to be "made in the image of God."

I took the newspapers and there was a trash recepticle right there at the bus stop for them.

(Damn. I should have re-cycled them. Because of me, these newspapers lost out on the chance to remain useful).

Don't think I'm some kind of super do-gooder either. There was one time I found that someone had actually taken a big, stinkin' dump on the subway.

I scurried into another car.


At 9:21 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Free will, baby. Free will.

At 4:07 PM , Blogger Kyle said...

"and by 'we,' I mean 'The Republicans.'"

Yah, me too, usually. :0)


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