Sunday was an eventful day in very unplanned ways. It was a great example of how the Lord is in charge of our lives. He guides us even when we fight Him every step of the way.
I basically had my entire weekend planned out. I went to Mass Saturday evening so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on Sunday. I know that sounds awful but I work Sunday mornings and I am always so exhausted after work it is difficult staying in the city long enough to make it to an evening Mass. Anyway, I opened at work and was done by 1:30pm. I had plans for that afternoon to get things done. Right away my mapped out route was thrown off. Immediately leaving work I ran into a flood of people and police closing off cross streets. Apparently, it was Greece’s Independence Day and they were having a huge parade in Central Park. Only in New York would I walk out of work right into an Independence Parade. It definitely made for an exciting walk but it made my plan for the day more tricky because I now had to maneuver around an entire parade. If I wasn’t so focused on my to do list I might have spent some more time amongst the craziness but I still had to pick up dinner, go to confession and catch a movie. Once I got through the parade traffic things went rather smoothly, I got my dinner and made it to confession a half and hour ahead of time giving me ample time to prepare. I was one of the first in line and I was done just in time to catch my movie. The movie was really the grand finale to the weekend. I love seeing movies by myself. It is a perfect get away, sitting in a movie theater and just let myself be taken away to another place and time. Of course, God has other plans.
When I got up to pay for my ticket I was stopped my the ticket taker when she saw my bag with my dinner. She said that they did not allow outside food in the theater. I fought so hard to get into that movie. I tried to convince her I wasn’t planning on eating it during the movie (which I wasn’t), she asked her manger, and I even asked if I could leave it with her and pick it up after the movie. No luck, my perfect plan for my perfect Sunday afternoon was cut short right at the end. I left the movie theater feeling truly defeated and completely unsure of what to do next. I had no choice but to make my way to the subway to go back to my apartment.
The subway was extra busy, it was rush hour, people were all in their own worlds and no one was taking the time to be considerate one another, including me. I was starting to feel tired and I was irritated that I didn’t get to see my movie. I was eager to get a seat on the train for the long ride home. By some twist of fate a seat opened up right in front of me. I grabbed it but I have to admit that I kind of snagged it from someone else. We were both equal space from the seat and I could tell the she wanted it just as much as I did. A little voice inside my head said to give up the seat and let the other woman have it. I ignored the voice. Fortunately, another seat opened up across the train car which the woman was able to take. I still felt slightly guilty especially since I had just gone to confession and here I was falling back into my sinful nature. God has this wonderful ability of giving you second chances. At the next stop an elderly lady came into the train, she moved quickly into the center of the train car clearly looking for a seat. I could see the true irritation on her face, I think she expected someone to give up their seat for her. Something told me that there may be circumstances that I could not see which was why the lady needed to sit down. I made eye contact with her and when she saw me I asked if she would like my seat. Her irritated demeanor immediately changed into sheer relief and gratitude. Even though I ended up having to stand for the rest of the ride home, I simply felt better and completely forgot about the movie. In addition, I could see the ripple effect that act of kindness made through out the train. Towards the end of the ride a mom with two kids came in, they were carrying a lot of shopping bags. They were obliviously having difficulty holding them all. The same woman who I snagged the seat from earlier and ended up ended up giving up her seat for the kids and their mom.
It was truly beautiful seeing how the acts of kindness can be contagious. The Holy Spirit was active in that train car. It is interesting to think about what would have happened if I had gone to that movie. I would have never had the opportunity to share my seat with that woman. God has a plan and it always happens the way it is supposed to no matter how much we might try and fight it.