Thursday, June 25, 2009

There Goes Everyone

For the second time this week I have experienced a major mental lapse. The first time my neighbor brought it to my attention. "I have something of yours," he said. It was a book I'd been reading. The title was The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson. The book uses Old Testament characters as examples for the ways that Jesus is the Way (John 14:6). Peterson addresses many ways*, but he did not answer how my copy curiously arrived several blocks from my house.

This morning was the second lapse. Turning onto SR 15 and increasing my speed, I noticed a flash in my review mirror and heard a muted thump. Another book and two library DVDs flew from my trunk. (And I had just recently paid off a fifteen dollar fine!) This book was entitled Here Comes Everybody, which felt rather appropriate as I dodged traffic to pull it from the pavement.

As I reached for the items and fended for my life, I considered one of author Clay Shirky's comments: "Self-preservation of the institution becomes job number one, while its stated goal is relegated to number two or lower, no matter what the mission statement says" (pg. 30). As Darwinian as this sounds, I certainly did not want ensuing traffic to make me and my media a Times-Union headline. Moreover, this line gave me insight as to why churches tend to be anemic and Christians struggle with the first commandment. Our natural mantra is: Mememememememe.

All this commentary to say: Apparently I don't load my car anymore, so I'm glad I take books to work and not babies. And the fact that this has happened twice in a given week makes me think I have a lot on my mind. And my car.

*Note that Peterson restricts himself to Old Testament figures (Abraham and the way of testing; Moses and the way of language; David and the way of stumbling; Elijah and the way of seclusion, etc.), not alternative religious figures. There are not many ways to Jesus, but different emphases in how people follow.

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