Thursday, October 18, 2018

Examining why I commit, or not

Read Time: 2 minutes

He was in the air over the car’s hood when I first saw him. The driver, looking the other way. Not seeing him. Entering the intersection from a stop. Car… no, it was one of those new Jeeps. High hood. Thick windshield posts. Still, he should have seen the guy. The Jeep still moving forward. Bam – he hits the hood hard. Driver sees him now. Stops. Looks indignant. The man slides off the hood, to his feet. I pass by as the man confronts the driver with arm-waving and an angry face. All this in seconds.

An hour later, I wonder why I didn’t stop.

Excuses slip through me. Important appointment to get to. Heavy traffic, busy street, no place to park.

He looked all right. The guy who’d been thrown through the air – he looked OK. He was standing, walking, didn’t need my help. He was approaching the driver; angry, arms waving. Not something I wanted to get into.

Too often I find myself sliding into the comfortable logic, resisting the real reasons.

You know that feeling where you’re compelled to change the subject; where you’re driven by the discomfort of the subject; where you find yourself fascinated with anything except what’s on the table in front of you?

That’s where I was when I thought about why I had just driven by.

Sometimes I’m all in. Sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I choose to be elsewhere.

Now that I think about it, I realize I’m very careful in choosing when I’m in and when I’m not. Why? Because when I was little I was fostered and adopted, and I felt trapped. I had no choice in the matter. I couldn’t get away. No power. No control. I was lonely, sad, adrift.

“I’m tired of tying your shoes, Teddy. You can’t go home until you tie your shoes.” Dad was supposed to pick me up that evening. “Your father won’t pick you up if you can’t tie your shoes. If he comes and your shoes are still untied, he’ll leave without you.”

So why didn’t I stop? Because I’m careful. Wary in choosing to commit or not, in any situation. Why? Because I might get stuck and not be able to get away. Why? Because I never want to be caught like that again.

1 Comment

  • Sue Liddell says:

    I was very moved and interested in this, Ted – being a lay preacher it resonates with the messages I try to pass on (links with the parable of the Good Samaritan) and reflects a lot on our society nowadays.
    May I use it sometime in my preaching, please?
    Hope you are well despite your President! If you get a chance to watch a three part series we had over here – Ed Balls in Trumpland – it certainly gave us insight into some parts of your country we had never visited. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the last Labour Goverment and lost his seat at the last election so does a variety of jobs now. His wife Yvette Cooper is in the shadow cabinet.
    Take care
    Much love
    Bill and Sue

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