I just got back from a long night drive. I was restless earlier, after a day of dozing and and evening of working — filing for unemployment and getting some other things in order. None of my roommates were home and I didn’t want to sit around the house. I love driving at night and it’s something I haven’t indulged in for quite some time. The roads are faster, the radio sounds better and the lights are generally greener. One of my favorite places to go when I drive is LAX. I love airports and the romanticism of travel. LAX is built into the city just so — if you time your driving just right, you can be sitting at a stoplight, staring up at the underbelly of a 767. Nothing is quite as exhilirating as the rush and rumble of a gigantic airplane within the aim of someone with a good arm and a tennis ball. Typically, the landing pattern there is such that the planes take off and land to the west — in the direction of the ocean. However, tonight as I was cruising down the Imperial Highway, a narrow strip of road between the fences of LAX and the Pacific, I noticed three bright lights reflected on the water. The brightest one was the moon — that wasn’t going anywhere, but as I looked again, I was spooked to realize that the other two were airliners coming in for landing, approaching ever-closer. There’s something exceptionally eerie about watching enormous man-made birds fly over a dark and deserted beach, their lights reflecting off a white, glowing surf.
For some reason, seeing these planes took me back to a conversation I’d had earlier in the day. I saw my friend David at church today. I rarely see him, and in fact evertime I say goodbye to him, I wonder if it will be the last time I see him. Not that he’s unreliable, but today was the first time I’d seen him in eight months or so. David’s a Kiwi — from either Auckland or Wellington, I can’t remember. He’s getting his PhD in phisiology from USC, a program that could take him at least five years. The last time I saw him, school was extremely difficult and he was considering returning to New Zealand. It had been so long, I figured he had gone back home. But no, he’s just been busy.
As Cal and I stood there talking to him, he spoke about how strange it was to have not experienced a “normal” life for the past eleven years — never having a steady paycheck and sometime wondering where his next money or his next step would come from. He said this with a slight sigh of resignation in his voice. I had to smile when he said this, able to identify with him quite well, having just ended another job. I didn’t have time then to tell him, but I wanted to say to him that it’s not a bad thing to not know where he was going, or to not be able to provide for himself all the time. I wanted to tell him that I though that it’s God, teaching him reliance on His provision, not to mention leading and directing his life in the way it should go. I’ve felt that way about my own life in the past couple of years and remind myself of it everytime I get down on myself for shuffling through jobs faster than a blackjack dealer in Vegas. There’s something better than a 9-to-5, something more inspiring and more fun, even if it means being less certain. It’s definitely more exciting.