Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Learning to Drive

Yes, I'm in a ranting mood these days. So I am going to turn my picking on it powers to a song. "Jesus Take the Wheel", currently being sung by Carrie Underwood. First, I want to clarify a few things. I do not (yet) have a problem with Carrie Underwood. I do not have a problem with the person who wrote the song (my lazy search has not yet turned up that information). I do not have a problem with Jesus.

But. Jesus should not be the only one driving you car. Okay - the person is the song is driving along. It is snowing, she is speeding and is low on gas. (We'll get back to that). She hits some ice and skids. So she throws her hands un in the air. What? You're not really supposed to take your hands off the wheel anyway, but especially not when you are skidding. Your are supposed to turn into the skid a bit, wait for the car to regain traction and then steer back to wherever you're trying to go.

So she says (while skidding, with hand not on the wheel), "Jesus take the wheel". Argh! I realize this is supposed to be allegorical or metaphorical. That she has lost control and is turning it over to Jesus. But here's the thing, Jesus (assuming that is your deity or son of deity of choice) needs you to do a little work to. Especially since the second verse reveals there is a baby in the backseat. (To say nothing of the other drivers out there who would probably appreciate her trying to do her own driving.

Now I recognize that there are things in our lives that we do not have control over. For example, it may be that no matter how well I eat, and stay in shape, I may still face a health issue (or two or three). Only pieces of that are in my control. I understand that it helps people to turn to their faith, to give up trying to control the things they can't and leave it in some else's hands.

I see that in some ways this song illustrates that cleverly. But I personally am completely unable to get past the fact that driving a car is not ever a scenario in which you should give up control. (Unless of course you're not the person in the driver's seat - in which case - go ahead give it up).
I realize the statement about being low on gas is supposed to represent more - likely being low on funds. But if you are low on gas, speeding is actually dumb. (Almost as dumb as speeding in the snow). Because your car is more fuel efficient when you are not speeding.

And the addition of the baby is probably supposed to make me feel that this is more poignant. But no - I'm that much more frustrated. That baby needs you to figure out how to drive that car! Or get out (of the car).

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