Thursday, July 24, 2008

A love/hate thing with California

I've decided to do a 5 part series on things I love and things I hate about living in SoCal.

The first reason why I hate living in SoCal is the drivers. I'm sure every big city has its host of bad drivers, but in my mind drivers out here are the worst. I have to admit, it is kind of nice that there is the unspoken rule (well, not quite so unspoken) that everyone drives 10 over. I still get nervous around police, but when they are obviously cruising at 15-20 over, I guess its not that big of a deal. But SoCal drivers are some of the most arrogant and reckless drivers around. I get overwhelmed with the most powerful anger whenever I am cutoff by somebody weaving through dense traffic, or think its just funny to drive on the shoulder to pass you on an on ramp.

Its not just that people are arrogantly pursuing the futile goal of getting just one more care ahead, but its the fact that their doing so not only slows down traffic (as everyone breaks to avoid an accident), but also endangers lives. And worse, when there is an accident (which is very frequent), that slows everyone down even more. And all of this is for the sake of getting someplace faster, which in the end this kind of recklessness only shaves seconds off of your arrival time. I'll be addressing this more later, but it is an attitude of entitlement, an attitude of selfishness, and an attitude of... stupidness. :)

I've been in so many close calls where somebody was acting foolishly, and its only by the grace of God that I have yet to have an accident out here. My wife can attest to this though, every time I get in any kind of traffic, I am a very angry person. Such emotions of frustration and even hatred wash over me, and it really surprises me how intense these can get.

Although this is unrelated to the drivers, stop lights definitely do not help my attitude. It seems like you hit almost every one when you are running late, and many of these are for old ladies to cross the street, or one car to make a left turn.

The first reason why I love living in SoCal is family, friends, and church.

Right now, I only have an uncle out here (who I really wish I made a greater effort to get to know better), but most of Marcy's immediate family is still only a short drive away. I still have not grown as close to them as Marcy has to my family, but they are my family, and I do love them. If/when we move, I will miss being close to them, even though I do not always take advantage of their close proximity.

I also have a number of good friends out here. I'd wager that I have more close friends out here than I ever did in Ga. I've also plugged into a church that I feel is unique. It definitely has its share of problems, but the leadership seems to really "get it" about some of the more important things, and it is a solid community that is ministry focused, and biblically centered. These are such basic qualities that should be a part of the church, but many churches fall short today.

I've often been afraid that if/when we move, we'll be hard pressed to find a church as strong and vibrant. Its such a great balance where we are at, the community is small enough that you can easily know many people in the body, and large enough that we are able to undertake some ambitious ministry and missions tasks. It is also nice (and frustrating) to be in a community where you do not have to be an expert in your field to be needed / used.

So that's part 1 of what I love and hate about living in SoCal.

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