Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Walk on the right side

This is so simple.  When you are at the shore, walk on the right side of the boardwalk.  I'm not kidding - I am completely serious.  And it is so easy - you don't even have to memorize what the 'right' side is - it is ON THE RIGHT.  This is what it looks like . . .

I can't tell you how many times when we were at the shore recently that I would have a showdown with some family or group that was walking the wrong way on the boardwalk.  It goes like this: I am walking on the right minding my own business and I happen to see a group of people walking toward me on the left, consumed with their ice cream cones and Johnson's Popcorn (most likely feeding it to the seagulls - another no-no).  They aren't paying attention to the fact that EVERY OTHER HUMAN ON THE PLANET IS ABOUT TO WALK INTO THEM GOING THE PROPER DIRECTION.

So my passive/aggressive side kicks in and I pretend to not notice that they are completely disregarding the natural flow of the universe.  I look away and fake whistle.  In fact I start to swing my arms a little bit and increase my pace to help them realize that continuing in this direction is not a good idea.  I'm not even sure why I get so annoyed by it.  I am usually a pretty laid back person.  This, however, is something that really gets me.  I mean really, if you were walking somewhere and thousands of people are walking the complete opposite direction, don't you think you would get the hint?

One night I was walking with my family and I was feeling especially larky, so when I saw a rather large family walking the wrong way I tried to disregard it.  Perhaps they were just coming out of a store and were going into another one?  In Ocean City NJ, the stores are on one side of the boardwalk with the Ocean side on the other.  So perhaps they were just perusing the stores and didn't get a chance to make it over to the ocean side.  I was feeling charitable that night.

But then it happened.  Later that same evening the same family was transgressing the traffic on the ocean side.  There was absolutely no other reason for them to be walking on the left!  It was a family of like 10 people - a small army - and my wife remarked that they were walking the wrong way earlier.  Again, I was rather impish that night so I started singing "you are walking on the wrong side of the booard waaaalk" in a sing-songy way.  My kids just laughed.  It felt so good to point out such an egregious error.

The family looked strangely at me and then at the ARROWS PAINTED ON THE BOARDWALK that indicated they were walking the wrong way and perhaps the light of illumination entered their life and they changed their ways.

Yes, walking on the right side of the boardwalk means that much to me . . .

But you know what?  The bigger thing that I learned from all of this is that I need to change before I get to heaven.  I can't be a stickler for the right way to walk and think that I am entering an eternal place of grace.  Honestly, sometimes this worries me.  That has to change - and if I can't change it, God is going to.  And if He changes it, how will I be the same John I am right now?

So maybe I should get to work changing sooner rather than later.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, that's what happened on both the Atlantic City and Ocean City Boardwalks last week. Luckily, there was not that many people around. Still, you'd think people would get a clue!