Oh Crap! It’s Good Friday?!

I woke up this morning and after a quick couple minutes of prayer, hopped onto Instagram to post a couple pictures I’ve been slacking on editing. As I finished the first picture, I realized that I couldn’t tag the place I had taken it because I didn’t know the name of it, so I hopped in my car to drive around the corner to get the name of it and then come back home to get back in bed. As I drove to the place, I saw the name and kept on the road as I looped around and started heading home.

A few minutes later, I drove past my turn… suddenly, I wanted to take some more pictures while I was out. I noted several good places to come back to, but I just drove past them. I was heading up the 74 now, towards the mountains and kept on seeing photo ops and driving right past them.

I decided that I’d go up to the lookout spot near the top of the Ortega hills and get some photos from up there. After passing a couple more good spots on the way up the hill, I got to the one I came for, stopped, and took a couple pictures.

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I hopped back in my car and pulled back up to the road. There were cars coming both ways and my first break came headed up the hill, so instead of going back down, I went up. I don’t know why, I guess I was just lazy and it was more convenient.

Before I knew it, I was flying through the two lane corkscrews and curves of Cleveland National Forest going 60 mph behind a white Mustang and blue Corvette, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun driving! I think that’s why I kept going! About 30 minutes later, I was in San Juan Capistrano, you know the place where all the swallows come every year? Yup, that one.

4th grade history quickly rushed back into my mind as I remembered the El Camino Real that padres used to use to travel up and down the California coast as they went from mission to mission (for whatever reason lol), so I got curious. I didn’t find the mission itself (admittedly, I didn’t spend long looking though) but I did find this beautiful church(that looks a lot like a mission!). I noticed that there were people going in and out of it, so I wanted to check it out. As soon as I got out of my car, I realized that I was still wearing the outfit that I slept in… I still went in though, and this is just some of what I found.

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I felt weird for walking into this place and snapping a bunch of pictures without really embracing what was happening, so I picked up a brochure (?) and read it, then I realized what was happening:

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Oh crap! It’s Good Friday?!

I sure as hell hadn’t forgotten that it was my sabbath from my music fast, bumping Janelle Monaé and Muse all the way there, but I had forgotten what was really important. Jesus died for me today… All of a sudden this music fast seemed foolish, I forgot what all of this was for: It isn’t just an opportunity to grow closer to God, it’s an opportunity to live through just a small bit of His suffering, that’s how we really grow closer to Him, by identifying with His pain. Even in little ways like these.
I stayed at the church for a while and prayed through the little prayer booklet skipping over the parts about Mary and the various saints (how can they say that Mary is “ever-Virgin” when she had at least two other sons by Joseph? Maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way…) and while it wasn’t at all the most profound experience of my life, it certainly grounded me a bit. I never really imagined that I’d walk into a catholic church of my own volition and enjoy my time there lol.
The drive home wasn’t quite as fast (it’s hard to do better than following a Mustang and a Corvette though) and my music wasn’t quite as loud, but I enjoyed it in a completely different way. I was thankful. The forests and canyons were beautiful, my car handled so well, the weather was great, and the air came through my cracked windows in such a way that I’d not hesitate to call it divine.
It’s still funny to think that God took me all the way out to a catholic church in San Juan Capistrano just to speak to me. Has He ever done something similar to you?

Any thoughts?

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