(Thanks, Carrie Underwood and Youtube.)
The small god of electronic and electrical devices works overtime in our house. This is not a benevolent god but a capricious sprite with a terrible sense of humor.
The fan in the old PC sounds like a jet engine on approach to PDX.
The stove won’t ignite but will collect lethal and explosive levels of gas. Don’t even think of trying to use it.
The microwave above the stove stores my Dutch oven and collects kitchen grease like no body’s business.
Our dishwasher is a dim memory. (Its physical remains have been dissected by the boy and I and used to host a tomato plant in years past.)
Things break and fall apart on a regular basis in our house, people included. I often threaten to attach the latest broken item on the end of a rope (always inanimate objects) to the bumper of my van and give it a spin around an empty parking lot. In my mind, I imagine my latest hated appliance on a rope smashing into as many parking bumps, curbs and poles as possible. All the while, I laugh, a giddy laugh of vengeance and destruction.
I’ve yet to do it, of course. Not many church or store parking lots are going to welcome me with open arms. In my fantasy rampage of destruction I see broken plastic and computer components laying in haphazard streams of glorious garbage which signifies a liberation of the soul that I will only meet in my dreams.
This image is so satisfying that when things break or quit working, I take a quick moment to visualize the process of parking lot destruction and my frustration dissipates. After all, it only a thing: a broken thing but still a thing.
This morning I suddenly realized that what I like best about my destructive fantasy is that I’m in the driver’s seat. Most of the time, I tend to feel like the thing tied to the bumper. Ouch.
Acceptance is one of the central issues of a spiritual life. Religions vary as to the ratio between acceptance of God’s will and the role of an individual’s free will. Thinking about it makes my head hurt. Theologians and angels dancing on heads of pins may debate it but when you’re driving the car or being drug behind it, your position in the universal scheme of things is the difference between sitting in a comfy seat or being covered with road grime and gravel as your life is quickly extinguished. Perspective — placement—is everything. How you feel about it and how that feeling fuels faith, is everything else.
When I’m behind that vehicle wearing gravel like body glitter, I need God in that driver’s seat. In extremis, nothing else matters but having a ghost of a chance at salvation. I, however, am not an easy appliance to save. I’m headstrong. I like to argue with God over who gets to drive.
Figuring out what I can control, what I can do something about isn’t as easy as it sounds. Maybe because I’m such a stubborn case and tend to cloud the issue with talk of driving and glorious streams of haphazard garbage. Fortunately God is patient and kind. He allows me to flop around in the gravel or occasional take the car out for a spin so I can learn to get my priorities straight. Every day is a new opportunity to learn to allow God to take the lead. I’m tired of the view from the back. I want to be riding alongside the driver. The seat is warm and ready for me. There is an amazing road trip in my future.