COLUMN: Ponderings by Doug

There are days when I think I drive for a living. I commute from Gibsland to Ruston daily. There are days I do a couple of round trips.  I drive a bland white Toyota hybrid. I established long ago that my car is smarter than I am. It certainly takes care of me. 

The cruise control has two settings, politically correct and drive up on their bumper before changing lanes. I opt for the bumper drive setting. That setting keeps me at optimum driving attention.

There is another feature I’ve come to appreciate. The rearview mirror is not a mirror but a camera. It gives a wider field of vision. My vision is not blocked if I’m hauling something in the back of the car. It took a day or two to get used to the idea, but now I don’t think I could return to the old-fashioned rear-view mirror.

The car has warning lights galore. It reminds me to check the backseat before I exit the car to make sure there is not a child or perishable food sitting on the seat. I have learned that if any item over 40 pounds is in the back seat, it must be belted in. To fail in that safety requirement means the warning horn will blare the whole trip. It is nice for my car to warn me that I have a sack of bird seed on the backseat.

The warning light I have learned to loathe is the tire pressure light. The tire pressure light is always on. This morning it was on because all four tires claimed to have pressure problems. They were all at 34 psi, and I thought that was pretty good. I know that in the wintertime the pressure will fluctuate. I was not anticipating this issue in the dog days of August. Is my car overly sensitive? Do I have a bad sensor or two in the tires? Can I learn to ignore the warnings? After all I come from a time when we would get out of the car, look at the tire and then manually check the tire pressure.

What is the relationship between the driver and the warning lights? Especially if these warning lights were created by some dufus who thought it was a good idea to know your tire pressure all the time. I know what you are saying, ignore the warning lights at your own peril. I agree. However, I’m being warned about a non-problem. I don’t have a tire pressure problem; my car has a calibration issue.

That perpetual light on my dashboard is a spiritual reminder. There are a ton of things to worry, fret, and stew about. Some of these worries are life altering. Others are like the light on my dashboard, a mere distraction. Maturity brings the wisdom to differentiate between the two.

For large and small distractions, Jesus is the antidote.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God believe also in me.”