Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Idol Traffic

Today I got stuck in Canberra traffic. Now Canberra traffic is not as bad as London traffic, or Sydney traffic, but it still meant that I was 30 minutes late for work. Being stuck in traffic by yourself gives you a little bit of restricted free time. You can do things within arms reach or you can just sit and think about things. During my time I was able to observe two fellow motorists in my revision mirror which got me thinking about things.

The first motorists that was suck behind me was a young lady. From what I could work out, on her passenger seat was a bag that contained everything from the L'OrĂ©al catalogue. The first time I looked back she was powdering her face. The next time I looked in my revision mirror her lips were redder. As time went on, her revision mirror had been completely twisted so it was pointing at her in order for her to more easily brush her hair and check her eye lashes.

After about 30 minutes there was a gap in front of a large vehicle in the other lane which I swapped over to. About a minute later another car had the same idea and pulled in between this truck and myself. This new revision mirror motorist was another young lady about the same age as the first. This one had seemed to have already groomed herself before getting into the car, but this lady was upset.

She seemed distressed to start with, but trying to stay in control. Every now and again she would lift her glasses and wipe away a tear from the corner of eye. I really did feel for her- alone and upset in her car. As time ticked on past 9am and traffic was ever so slowly moving on, her tears became more evident. Her glasses were off and her palms were rubbing her eyes. She was trapped in her car and frustrated that we were not moving. I have no idea what exactly was causing her to cry. Maybe she has something important to do at work at 9am. Maybe that morning she had left a bad home environment and the time in the car got her to reflect on what was back at home. I'm not sure, but I think she more wanted to get to work as she pulled off the main road, she seemed in quite a hurry.

It was strange to see strangers, surrounded by cars and in their own world surrounded by metal and glass. One sought to improve her looks and another was upset - possibly due to work. And in these two lives, I think I saw two idol's. Beauty and Work. These things seemed to define us. I'll show you: I bet, before you ask someone you just met "What do you do for a job?" you have already seen and assessed what they look like.

So I wonder, where does your mind go when no one is looking? To your Work or your Appearance? I have been told, in those circumstances, your idol's are revealed. So what was I doing all this time? I was listening to a talk on Isaiah 42:1-4 and observing these fellow motorists. By now you should realise that "observing" is too soft of a word. "Judging" might be a better description. I was listening to talk, that mentioned idols and quickly saw them in complete strangers, well before I saw them in myself. I think there lies my own heart, and there lies the heart of all men....

If only I could get a new heart given to me. If I was to go about earning a new one, I fear I may continue to judge people for not earning or working on their own hearts. Something external, beyond my control, like being stuck in traffic, needs to happen to me and to us all.


  1. My reflective son - well done!

  2. That's some nice wordplay on the use of the "revision mirror" instead of the "rear-view" or "rear-vision".

  3. Hi Switch,

    Thanks for posting and also for giving me the benefit of the doubt as being smart. It turns out that I am not.

    For the last 30 years of my life I have actually been saying "rear-vision mirror" wrong. I have been calling it "revision mirror", being lazy and dropping the "ar", thinking that was actually the correct term. Only after your comment have I realised that I naturally call it the wrong thing.

    I feel I can't take any credit as calling it a "revision mirror" in this post as it was accidental.

  4. Lol. I've enjoyed reading some of your blogs, Vella, I'm bored in a lecture at the moment.
    ~~ drew