Dick Hunt's Blog

January 12, 2010


Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:22 pm

by Dick Hunt, January 12th, 2010.
One year before I was born, my Father bought his first car.  It was a 1919 Dodge Touring, “with isinglass curtains you could roll right down, in case there’s a change in the weather”.  The tires were 30” by 3”, wheels with wooden spokes.  The color was black.  He took Mother and my  two siblings for a Sunday afternoon drive to visit neighbors, all of three miles away.  When they arrived at  the house Dad aimed straight at  the front steps,  hollered “Whoa”,  and pulled back on the steering wheel, *(a distant equivilant to pulling back on the horses driving lines)  Then he remembered the brake, but by  that  time the front  wheels were up three steps. No harm was done, except for Dad’s very tender reputation as a car driver.  He had a garage built for it , of Pacific Coast  Douglas Fir and that building is still as solid as the day it was built.  The building I live in is 21 years old and we have been repairing it for years.

Apparently the problem of transition is widespread. It takes effort and practice to break away from old habits and become accustomed to what works and what doesn’t work. When all else fails, read the instructions. One of our neighbors bought a car  (they were all new in those days) and he decided he should take good care of it, so had a garage built.   When it was ready to house the new car he got in and drove into the garage and hollered “”Whoa” and pulled back on the steering wheel, (*see driving lines, above.) By  that time the front of the car was outside the back end of the garage.

In rural Canada children learned early how to drive motorised vehicles, especially boys.  During the war on the Ranch where I was born and raised manpower was scarce as so many men from the farms enlisted, as I did.  The R.C.M.P. Corporal in charge of a local detatchment  was a close friend of my Father’s largely due to their mutual love for horses.  His wife was also a close friend of my Mother’s.  During harvest  one summer Ernie  phoned my father and offered to spend his two week annual vacation helping with the harvest and he came to our local village on the train. Dad picked him up and Ernie stooked* for two weeks (*set up grain bundles in forms of 8, in order for them to dry out).  When  it came time for him to go back to his regular job, the only “Driver”who was available to drive him to the station was my nine year old brother David, who was tall for his age.  Dad asked Ernie if that would be alright  and with a grin he said, O.K. Special consideration.

I was entrusted with a farm tractor on steel wheels (that was the only kind there was until I was sixteen years of age) and I was to plow in a large field. In order to “plow a straight furrow” farmers “stepped off” a width of the field at  each end and erected a temporary post with a white cloth on it at each end of the field.  I learned early that if I took my eyes off the post  at  the far end of the field even for a moment , when I looked back, the post  had ‘moved’.  I had just looked around to see how well I was doing.  Later in life I discovered a verse of Scripture which explained what  I had done and it was indeed a good lesson. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62) The speaker is Jesus.  No doubt he saw people who had made the mistake I had made.  In the Kingdom of God, looking back refers to taking our eyes off the mark and Jesus is the mark.

There were hazards under the surface of the ground, called rocks.  Some of them were very large and when a plow hooked under one something had to give.  There were various models of “break away hitches” available which would release the tractor from the plow. Relieved of the load, the tractor would leap ahead and it was wise to know how to stop quickly, back up, re-couple the tractor to the plow, make sure the plow was no longer hooked under the rock and then proceed to go back to plowing.  The first time that happened to me, I immediately hollered “whoa” and pulled back on the steering wheel.  I, along with the early drivers of cars, was conditioned to act  in a certain way  in order to stop the vehicle.

There is surely a close parallel in the matter of behaviour  in the bringing up of children or re-education of older people.  Some children will respond to  mild restraint and others seem to need tougher love.  The thing that is important is that it is critical that there must be standards set down and that there is a known difference between right and wrong.  And that there are consequences and costs involved for infractions against the standards set down by people of authority, chiefly parents.  Self discipline stems from imposed discpline.  It is important that the ones who set the standards also teach the reasons for those standards.  If plowing, keep your eyes on the white flag.  If searching for Eternal life, follow the Scriptures.  If looking for an address follow the map. If wanting to phone or e mail, check the address.  If wanting to emulate a person who is a role model for you, see what their goal is and how they are traveling there.  And make sure their goal is    highly moral,  ethical and spiritual.

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