Shortcutting the Good Parts

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One of my favorite scenes fromĀ Cars, the movie, is when Sally takes McQueen out for a drive…just to go for a drive. And they come upon a magnificent view of the landscape. One that everybody else seems not to even know exists anymore.

Sally: Forty years ago, that interstate down there didn’t exist.
Lightning McQueen: Really?
Sally: Yeah. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way.
Lightning McQueen: How do you mean?
Sally: Well, the road didn’t cut through the land like that interstate. It moved with the land, it rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.

I love this metaphor. We race through life after shadows. Dreams that ultimately end as dust. More money. More stuff. More fame. More power. More accomplishments. More checkmarks on a bucket list. And our human ingenuity has provided endless gadgets, innovations and shortcuts to get there even faster.

All of the shortcuts mean we make great time. But having a great time, that happens on the rises and falls of the journey. It’s also the quiet, humble present moment while on that journey where we happen to uncover the deepest mysteries and purpose of our lives. Makes all of our busy shortcutting look pretty silly. And boring.

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Key to Life May 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I don’t know, I keep buying stuff that will cut down my time doing other stuff and it never seems to help. We just fill that time up with more stuff we don’t need to do but we think we need to do. It seems like we just don’t want to find time for prayer and for being in God’s great creation. It really takes a conscious effort to set aside the saved time for something so meaningful as prayer and contemplation.

Marc Cardaronella May 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I love that exchange between the grandmother and Steve Martin’s character in Parenthood. She recalls how, as a girl she always liked roller coasters. And, as she’s speaking, you realize she means it as a metaphor for life. Others liked the ferris wheel because it was predictable and just went around in circles. But she loved the ups and downs and excitement of the coaster.

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