Accelerating into the Unknown

Fuel By RS Thomas

And the machines say, laughing
up what would have been sleeves
in the old days: ‘We are at
your service.’ ‘Take us,’ we cry

‘to the places that are far off
from yourselves.’ And so they do
at a price that is the alloy in
the thought that we can do without them.

I changed a ballast last night. You might think this was impressive, if as I did, you thought all ballasts reside in submarines. Alas, it was not such a great adventure, in fact, it was really very easy (which is good, since many of my home repairs take twice as long and end with me speaking gibberish, while Meg closes the door and I contemplate taking a hammer to the whole project!). Still, it was one more moment when I realize I have no idea how anything works. It seems the fluorescent bulbs require a ballast to work. Of course it took me purchasing and placing new fluorescent tubes, then a google search to discover the problem. As to what a ballast does, well I am sure it does not fill with air to keep the bulbs afloat, but honestly I did not care about details on electronic ballasts. I just wanted to find and fix the problem…

Over the past weeks we have heard more about Toyota’s unintended acceleration. While I am not sure if all the recent events come from honest sources (It seems the guy in California had declared bankruptcy losing everything and soon would have to give up his accelerating Prius!), still the prospects of our car careening out of control is frightening. And as cars become more computer than machine, scenes from Will Smith in iRobot seem possible. In part because I know less and less about the cars we drive…

While I might read a basic article on regenerative breaking or electronic ballasts, in reality I just want my stuff to work. In the same way we approach our life. We just want things to work. From jobs, to friends, to families we accelerate through the moments and days, barely even noticing the signs. Only in the broken moment, after we discover things were out of control, do we analyze.  Only then do we ask, how did this happen? …  But life is not as easy to repair. There are no google searches that bring clarity.

Take this moment to stop and take stock. What are your priorities in life? How are you treating those who are closest to you? How much time do you devote to your family? Is God your center? …

(I included the poem, just as a reminder to not let stuff dominate your life—it  brings promises, but it will not lead you to prosperity!)

Just a reminder that this Sunday (3/17/10) Day-Light Savings time begins. So remember to set your clocks ahead one hour. Also, this Sunday will be a combined service in the sanctuary at 11:00, Sunday School at the normal time.

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