Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dundonald Dodgems

This morning, it was like the dodgems in Dundonald village. The traffic lights at the junction of the Upper Newtownards Road / Church Road / Ballyregan Road weren't working. Most seemed to think it was an adult high-speed version of dodgems, only in your own car.

It was interesting to see the various reactions to the absence of red/amber/green lights moderating the traffic flow. For once, there was no restraint, no legal obligation to stop and give way to others, so most carried on regardless. Those on the Newtownards Road thought that they were on the major road and so didn't have to slow down at all, keeping going at the regular speed or maybe even a bit faster then normal. Scary stuff, especially if you were trying to emerge from Church Road or Ballyregan Road. We were at a disadvantage, so had to sit and wait for quite a while, until quite sure the road was clear both ways. Nevertheless, even cars coming from the minor roads edged out farther than they should, trying to push the boundaries and get on with their journey.

No traffic lights, no restraints, total chaos. Thankfully the lights are working again now, but it was a reminder of how we all are or were. If we think we can get away with something, we will. So if you can't see a police car / speed camera, it doesn't matter what speed you do. Or you abandon your car where you like if you know the traffic wardens are on holiday. You push the boundaries and do as much as you think you can get away with. You behave differently in private from your public persona/appearance.

Ultimately, we reject any notion of outside authority and install ourselves as functional king, sovereign over our own life and destiny. A dangerous state of being, because if each of us are doing what WE want, then we'll be horribly frustrated and conflicted when everyone else does what they want as well.

At the end of the book of Judges, there are three gruesome chapters as things in Israel go from bad to worse to worser. There's no authority, no rules, they're just making it up as they go along. The very last verse of Judges says this:

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (21:25)

Total chaos, with no rules, no order, and tribal violence. No wonder that the writer of Judges is yearning for God's king to be anointed and revealed. David brings order to the chaos of Israel, conquering enemies and securing borders, establishing the city of the Lord at Jerusalem and preparing to build the Temple. Yet even David messed up. We need a better king than David - great David's greater Son.

To drive through an untraffic-lighted junction is dangerous enough. To go through life disregarding rules and making it ul as you go along - that's fatal. Life without Jesus is fatal, but living under King Jesus is life and peace.

1 comment :

  1. Technically, if the traffic lights are out, noone has priority. In practice, everyone on the main road careers on through and doesn't care, unfortunately...