“If things get as bad as they could, we won’t be traveling 150 miles to a birthday party.”
My dad said this to me scornfully because he wasn’t happy to be traveling three hours one way to my aunt’s birthday party. He and I were in one car sharing our increasingly pessimistic views on the problems of the world, while my wife, son and mother were in another car.
If Dad thought this particular drive was not to his liking, I’m sure he was glad he wasn’t in my shoes. Friday we drove about 300 miles to see my parents. Saturday we drove 150 miles (one way) farther to attend a niece’s wedding. Then Sunday we drove the 150 miles to my aunt’s party, more or less in the direction we needed to go for heading home. Then it was about another 150 miles from my aunt’s to get back home. We had things planned out pretty well for the weekend events, but it was a lot of traveling I hope not to repeat any time soon.
My dad’s quote above makes a sharp point. What will we do when things truly go down? Traveling by air would be an impossibility. What if it’s not practical or possible to drive our cars? That could happen for any number of reasons—inability to get fuel, electromagnetic pulse, etc. It’s something many of us don’t like to think about or don’t believe would really happen. We’re so dependent on cars in this country for such things as commuting miles to work daily or going to the nearest convenience store. Can we survive without cars? We’ll have to.
Consider the transportation used when Jesus was on the earth. Much travel was on foot. Jesus rode on a donkey. Horses were used in warfare. Commerce between nearby countries made use of waterways by ship. A jaunt we make today in a few minutes could have taken an entire day. This was the shape of transportation for many hundreds of years. The advent of the car and combustion engine drastically changed all that, and it has occurred within relatively recent history. What makes us believe it will go on forever as it is now?
While listening to the conversation at my aun’ts party, I couldn’t help but take notice of one old man’s frame of reference. He was a farmer and seemed to know a lot about World War II era tractors and horses. He and his wife put on a number of rodeos over the years. They were firmly rooted in their community. It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone speak as knowledgeable as this man about his local geography and the people he knew. He obviously wasn’t the proverbial jet setter type. One day it may be to our advantage to have this man’s knowledgeable understanding of surroundings to survive. At such a time it won’t seem provincial.
If we’re forced to step back in time with our modes of transportation, it won’t be all bad. Today we have bicycles and trikes, which they didn’t have in Jesus’ time. They didn’t have inflatable kayaks or canoes then either. We have such things as plastics and fiberglass that represent technological advances that will serve us well for as long as they last. Our survival transportation will be a blend of the old and the new.