Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Is that an oxymoron? 
 
If you are ever in a car, and this car is headed for the edge of a cliff, and you have the option of letting the car explode 100 feet from the edge or not, I recommend that you prevent the explosion and hope to grab the steering wheel to redirect it in the remaining 100 feet. 
 
Today I was driving in rush hour.  I almost made a green light for a left turn, but the turn arrow expired just as I reached the intersection, and I waited.  It was one of those excellent but endangered lights that retains my legal right to turn on a green light if the oncoming traffic has a large enough break.  But there wasn’t one.  So I waited.  And finally after my red light, the turn arrow came back and I sped into my curve, considering those behind me who were sitting in a long, hopeless line of cars.  The road was a bit narrow, and cars filled the other side of the road.  I only saw her as I finished the 90 degree transition.  Perpendicular to my car was a lone woman, mid-road, her car stretching across three lanes of my path.  I slammed on my brakes. 
 
She had crossed a double yellow line to turn out of a left-turn-only lane, two car-lengths behind her red light.  Her attempt was to escape the traffic and enter the opposite parking lot to turn around. 
 
I waited for her, scarcely giving thought to traffic behind me.  For a split second we had made eye contact, and she sheepishly proceeded into the parking lot, as if she had just read in my face the foolishness of her decision.  (Double yellow lines are a clue to this.  Don’t cross them!) 
 
Driving on up the road, praising God for preventing an accident, I pondered what-if’s.  Really in the moment I put on my brakes I was making a decision.  I was trusting the people behind me to slow down or go around or to be slow enough in their turn to give time to smoothe out the wrinkles the other driver created.  It was not impossible or even unlikely that a car behind me would run into me. 
 
Even though this decision did not present itself as such at the time, afterward I realized that stopping was still my best choice.  T-boning another car is probably a lot more harmful than getting rear-ended (though I have a lot of stuff in my trunk that I would rather not get scrunched).  But how do you prepare your instincts for a split-second decision, to do the best thing? 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Read Full Post »

I’ve been thinking about Disney for a while.  The glory days of my childhood went along with the end and climax of Disney’s glory days.  Beauty and the Beast was the best.  Of course there were the classics: Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty.  And there were the contemporaries of Beauty and the Beast: Aladdin, Little Mermaid, even Tarzan and Mulan. 

Then, when I was a little too old for animated movies, came Toy Story.  Or maybe at this point the animated movies changed, and I didn’t like the change.  The CG revolution came over Disney.  Since then there have been a lot of Disney movies, including Toy Story 2, many made with computer animation. 

In Toy Story 2, Woody is looking for immortality in a museum, having realized that Andy is growing up, and that the boy’s toys will soon be obsolete.  Jessie has already been there, and sings a wonderful song about the good old days when she was loved.  Then she was forgotten, and she wonders about the purpose of life after love.  It’s a nostalgic movie.  Cars and The Incredibles are similarly backwards-looking. 

Contrast this with the themes of the classics: Someday my Prince will Come.  A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes.  Wish upon a Star.  Peter Pan’s lost boys are content; they don’t want to grow up.  Wendy finally decides to grow up, but that’s because she’s ready.  In both cases, the characters are looking forward, eager to keep living each day as it comes.  Belle wants adventure. 

Even Disney has become cynical, has desired the days of old to return.  What happened? 

Ecclesiastes 7:10, “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.”

Incidentally, my favorite modern Disney movie is Monsters, INC, about a cute little girl and a renaissance of energy production in Monster land.  It is the most hopeful of the newer movies. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

Read Full Post »

Why am I writing this series?  On Saturday I went to a jewelry party (like Pampered Chef, Tupperware, PartyLite candles, etc.)  There are rules for how to wear your jewelry!  People are afraid to try something new or not their typical style.  Layers are very “in” right now.  But you can go with a classic look that never goes out of fashion.  My friend who was hosting the party disagreed with some of the fundamentals of wardrobe, and the jewelry saleslady assented, “If it looks good to you, wear it; it’s all about confidence.”  I know my friend is independent-minded.   

Style is a big industry.  People advertise their designer creativity with crazy lines of clothing in fashion shows, and somehow make plenty of money.  This happens even though I don’t see anyone but models wearing those things, and if they’re not wearing them, are they really buying them?   Why do people follow trends, anyway?  The popular girl wore that, so I will too?  We really think the movie star’s life is so wonderful that we want to do everything like them, including clothes and hair? 

Because something is popular, we consider it beautiful?  Or just because it is new and different, edgy, we invest money in it?  I can understand doing that with a car (whose innovations usually look good and have functional improvements in performance).   Apparently advertising agencies run the world.  They created the concept of teenager, which now governs economics, education, family, marriage, morality, justice…  The industry tells us how to spend our money by manipulating emotional, need-to-fit-in people into feeling like they need their products.   

Do we have a choice?  Does God have choices?  What is the meaning of not choosing something?  Is value subjective or objective?  Is value placed on a thing by a chooser, or is it inherent?   The capitalist system of economics is based on the notion that consumers will act on their sense of value.  For example, I value a necklace at the jewelry party, but I value other uses of my money more. 

A wrench is thrown in the theory of capitalism when I say that even though I value something more than my fluid cash, I won’t buy the item because of moral/spiritual convictions.  I may believe that God doesn’t want me to spend money I don’t have, for example.  I believe that $15,000 would be a great deal for a house.  But I don’t have 15 grand, so I’m not acting on my sense of value.  Even if I need a house, or think it is a great investment, I won’t buy.   

God is also teaching me about embracing sacrifice, intentionally going without what I want.  This is part of the concept behind fasting.  Fasting is a huge exercise of will over want.   If I was being sincere, I would tell you how I really feel about fasting.  My convictions tell me that the way I feel is sometimes wrong.  So I will exercise my will in acting upon what I ought to be in order that I may become that ideal in sincerity.   

Finally, I’ve been reflecting on strong-willed people, especially children who try their parents.  Some strong-willed rebels are breaking my heart.  Other strong-willed children are too young to have made life-altering mistakes.  I listen to their parents talk about them, and I wonder if I could help them to understand the puzzles who are their children.  Would it benefit them to know?   Dr. Dobson wrote a book.  I haven’t read it.  He doesn’t seem to be strong-willed to me.  I think President Bush is.  President Reagan was. 

Heroes are strong-willed, fictional or historical.  Villains tend to be that, as well.  In Beauty and the Beast, both main characters are strong-willed.  Think of their argument after she runs away.  But, as the song says, somebody bends unexpectedly.  Notice it doesn’t say somebody was bent.  They bend.  The tense is intransitive.   

I can relate.  This could be titled, “Confessions of a Strong-willed Christian.”  In writing this series, I discovered a lot about myself, and happily connected dots.  I have a friend who thinks that it is inconsistent with the rest of my personality that I like to watch football.  My position is that it must be linked to my fundamental identity.  This has been an exercise in associating who I am with that identity.  But no, I still can’t explain why I like football. 

Still to come:

What is a Strong-Willed Person? 

How Can you Tell if Someone is Strong-Willed? 

What should Parents of Strong-Willed Children Do?  

Is there Hope?  The Good Side of Strong Will.  To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

Read Full Post »