Last year, I did a little bit of traveling. Without even realizing it I visited three of the biggest cities in the United States. Quite by accident. If I had gone to a popular church conference (GYC for those who know) I would have made it to the fourth biggest city.
I actually hate cites. I would rather be out in nature. However, here are my reflections from when I wandered through those mammoth metropolises.
I stood up for myself in New York. The whole trip seemed like a bargaining piece between two friends to make a missionary tour more appealing. I don’t know if I agree with that, but I digress.
The team stopped at a hole in the wall cafeteria to get some $3 pizza. I have food allergies and cheese is not an option for me. All this little place could offer was crumbly gluten free pizza crust or greasy pasta.
I wanted to eat pizza in New York. Good vegan pizza. My team leader was annoyed because he had other things on his agenda.
“Just get the pasta,” he sighed.
Now, I was pretty annoyed. I had followed them every where they wanted to go throughout the dirty streets of this gigantic city. All I wanted was a good vegan pizza in New York.
I googled a place and insisted on going there. The team leader begrudgingly decided to stay with me because he didn’t want me to be alone. “Sacrificing” the coveted trip to the One Store with his friends. He made me aware of it. I should have felt bad, but he got a premium dessert at the Double Zero for free.
I, of course, ate my scrumptious pizza. And it was worth it. The walk across the city to get it and every cent of those $20.
Sometimes, you just have to respectfully voice what you want and need. Even if it’s just for some good food.
California is my home. I was born here and have live here for years. Of course, Los Angeles is just down the street. What intrigues me most about LA is Hollywood walk of fame. All fifteen and 1.3 miles of it. People seem to be pretty excited to have their names there, but why? To be trampled underfoot?
That must be how God see our achievements. We pride ourselves in being stars, but we are really dull pieces of metal embedded in the earth for men to trample upon. Something that will eventually succumb to the elements. Or worst like Donald Trump’s star to violence.
I learned to embrace networking and weak links in Chicago. I was heading back East to visit my parents. I hadn’t seen them in over a year and they had just recently moved to Michigan. I booked by flight in the beginning of December to fly to Chicago with a plan to drive to the city they lived in Michigan. It was just a couple hours away.
Then, I got scared. My flight came in at night. What if it snowed and I got stuck it Chicago. I didn’t want stay in a hotel by myself in a big unfamiliar city.
I went to a little hospitality group on Facebook with members from my global church. I had never tried it before, but I was curious. It wasn’t long before I had made contact with someone from Chicago willing to host me for the night.
That’s how I came to stay with a warm little black family whose grandmother came wondering into my room looking for another bathroom. I would stay with church members over a hotel anytime. I am more confident at networking and using those weak links.
I just stayed in Chicago that one night before heading to Michigan; however, I made some time to see the “Bean.” I discovered that it isn’t supposed to be a bean at all, but a cloud. It’s official name is the “Cloud Gate.” I paid a pretty penny for parking just to see that sculpture.
It reminded me how expensive it is to see another cloud. Not so much the cloud, but the person in it. However, all the money spent toward it will be worth it.