September 8, 1999

Honk if you love Jesus,
but get out of my lane, buddy!
___What is it with men and their machines?
___I enjoy getting behind the wheel of a car with a little zip, but the thrill of a fast car doesn't drive my life.
___Even though it is a generalization, men usually do put the pedal to the metal more often than women. And the more powerful
the engine, the better. (Picture Tim Allen from "Home Improvement" doing his famous macho grunt.)
___Most of us probably fit into numerous styles of driving, depending on the day, our destination and the passengers we're carrying.
___I cruise the middle of the road on this issue--not too fast and not too slow. But when I have an appointment to make and have cut it a little too close--a normal state of affairs--I become an impatient, get-out-of-my-way driver who talks to other drivers. OK, so maybe they can't hear me, but it sure does make me feel better to vent.
___Fast drivers who zip in and out of traffic are annoying, but what really irritates me is slow drivers. When stuck behind these slow-moving vehicles, I often am irritated by the time I reach my destination. Attaining a whopping 5 miles per hour on a residential street never has been a goal of mine.
___And then there are those helpful side and backseat drivers. I have been reprimanded on many occasions for offering what I thought was simple, helpful advice. How could anyone take offense to: "Watch OUT!" or "Honey, do you see that car???"
__If automobiles had been invented during the time Jesus walked on earth, surely he would have told a parable of two drivers--one in the fast lane and one in the slow lane.
___I don't know what the point of the parable might have been, but this image would hav
e been too good a vehicle of communication to pass by.
___How one drives tells volumes about the inner self. In fact, we could save psychologists a lot of money by ditching all those personality tests and just putting the analysts in the car with the patients.
___In my way of seeing the highway, there are two basic models of drivers: fast and slow. And putting the two together is like mixing oil and water. This distinction isn't always a male-female thing, but opposites do attract in marriages. Which is why it's so much fun to take a family trip in the car.
___Have you ever noticed how no one seems bothered by his or her own driving habits, but everyone can generate plenty of concern for another driver's methods?
___Even the most fearless drivers find reason to get squeamish when thrown in the passenger seat. There's a reason they've started installing those handle bars above the front-seat passenger windows. Now if they would just reinforce the carpet on the passenger-side floorboard, to account for all that make-believe braking.
___This must have something to do with leadership, trust or the desire to control our own fate. Reminds me of some bad theology put on a bumper sticker years ago and plastered on cars nationwide: "God is my co-pilot."
___For us hard-driving people, it's difficult to get out of the driver's seat and trust someone else with our destiny. Yet that is the demand of the Christian faith: Putting self aside and letting God safely pilot us to our destination.

He Said/She Said is a new regular feature of the Baptist Standard's on-line edition. Mark Wingfield is managing editor of the Standard. Alison Wingfield is a freelance writer. The Wingfields moved to Texas in January from Louisville, Ky., where Mark had been editor of the Western Recorder, in which this column appeared weekly.

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