True Coversion

 

Your car will know you are converted. I said ‘car,’ not ‘cat’ – since somebody once made the point about your dog: Fido will notice your conversion. I write as an ex-motorist, chronic pedestrian and lover of public transport, the planet, etc. If you are one, you will know the agony of being offered a lift by a friend. So kindly meant, and useful if it is snowing and there are no buses.

But how often, so inconvenient! You go round to them (they can’t come to you), wait twenty minutes, squeeze in with others who are fatter than you, and do a 3-mile detour to pick up a box for you to hold. The short-cut takes twice as long; you could have walked there more quickly. Not to mention car-sickness.

I was once driven to a football match under some of these conditions; the crowning shame was our alleged need to leave ten minutes before the end to avoid traffic jams. Never mind the last-minute equalizer and the injury-time winner; we heard the cheers from the car park.

Another snag eclipses the rest. Your driver is in a foul temper. It starts with other drivers. How dare they get in my way? How dare she (usually) slow down, turn right, overtake, etc? It soon spreads to cyclists and the real enemy, pedestrians (What is she doing?) and extends to traffic signs (Stupid speed-limit!), roads (Wretched humps!), police (You’d think I was doing 100, not 37!), weather (You’d expect fine days in June!), car (Who fixed these wipers?), family (Who’s nicked the map?) and passengers (How can I think while you’re all talking?).

The more targets for anger, the more perils abound. Some travelled in fear for months after London’s terrorist attacks; in terms of numbers killed and maimed, this would be a normal week or two on the roads. Any new drug which killed this many would be instantly withdrawn. We are car-junkies.

Counselling offered from the back seat is not always well received; not even texts like ‘The meek will inherit the earth.’ The only cure is conversion. Not the car, stupid – you. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Your car will notice.

Chris Idle

                                                                                                                                 

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