Half Truth

Well how is that working out for you? 19 Jan 2021

3PMSF Winter Tyre

I often hear people wax lyrical about some small detail of “truth.” I can’t stop myself from thinking, “How is that working out for you in day to day reality?” As I write this I’m thinking, here I snow again.

After a period of snow a few years ago, I drove home from work via Beeley moor. I can hear the criticism already. The motorway was blocked following an accident and I was too focussed on the desire to get home.

I found myself stuck behind the driver of a 4X4 who herself was parked whilst stuck behind a vehicle being rescued by a tractor. She got out of her car to tell me what was going on. She lived there and was fed up with all the silly drivers she had seen up there in these conditions without being in 4X4s.

I listened politely (ish) whilst sitting in my 2-wheel drive car. When she finished, I calmly said just one sentence, “Oh yes, some even come out without winter tyres.” She looked puzzled, said no more and returned to her car to wait. I was then even more unwise. I turned around, took an even smaller road home and fortunately returned without incident. On this occasion I got away (with it) despite my foolishness.

Some 4X4 owners act like they are kings of the road and smugly repeatedly proclaim the superiority of their knowledgeable, albeit expensive, vehicle choice during any bad weather. 4X4 vehicles are so much better in winter. I believe this is a half-truth.

Little knowledge can dangerously distort the bigger picture – as said before. Yes, you have double the tyres using their impaired grip over ice and snow to propel the vehicle. But don’t all cars have 4-wheel braking? What about staying on the road around corners?

Tyres able to display M+S (Mud and Snow) on their sidewalls provide better tread for grip on loose surfaces. I have these on my campervan which occasionally does park in wet campsites. OK, I confess, it’s also 4Motion so it can propel all 4 wheels when needed.

When “told off” I was in my 2-wheel drive car which had the “Three Peak Mountain Snowflake” international standard logo on the tyres. Much better grip and a rubber composition that excels below 7 degrees centigrade. I do change back to summer tyres when appropriate. These tyres enhance grip for more than forward motion and improve the likelihood of staying on the road. The right approach for the right context. In some countries winter tyres are mandatory!

And there we have it. I have been a classic 4X4 driver showing off my possessions and a little bit of knowledge as if that’s all that matters in relation to an issue. Size and weight of vehicle, wheel size…? What about quality of driving? Skid pan training…? Road condition? Was the tractor 4-wheel drive?

But it’s not just 4X4 drivers that self-promote, many people loudly proclaim knowledge they know in the pretence of being helpful.

I am spitting out my frustrations here. Throughout my ill health it is the calming God of the present that has opened my eyes. Bible reading has been a way to get to know Him and His Love. His support and presence here and now has been the greatest evidence of the reality and relevance of Christian faith for me today.

Bible knowledge is all very well, but we need to be able to apply what we know like Jesus did, for others! He showed strength and shared knowledge with humility and meekness, rather than self-promoting arrogant weakness. Meekness is not weakness.

On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from you your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. But I will leave within you the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:11-12)

So, how is this working out for me? Honestly, life continues to be tough. Post-accident there are times I need to be alone and asleep. My life journey is full of glorious mountain peaks and treacherous low points.

My mood aligned with the weather last week. Negative low points with steep slippery surfaces ahead. The Christian faith should never be promoted as a means to an easy life.

Read Psalm 77 and if you’re not a Psalms Old Testament person try 2 Timothy 3:12. Jesus too suffered.

On the cross he referred to Psalm 22:1 as you find in Matthew 27v46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LEMA SABAKTANEI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

Here again we have another good example from Jesus. When in torment, even when unaware of his presence, turn to God. He is the ultimate comforter. This I have found to be true.

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