Quasi-Indefatigable Xenolith



A Rabbit On The Road

You can learn an awful lot about a person by observing their driving habits.

For instance, I drive down a lot of practically deserted back-roads, often recording myself talking. When I travel for business, I often eat and conduct needed telephone work as the car is still moving as well. What do these things say about me? Perhaps that I have a general disregard for vehicular safety and I try to mitigate it by staying away from traffic? Maybe that I get bored easily and can't just do one thing at a time? Perhaps you don't want to meet me on the road? A multiplicity of possibilities could emerge from just a few informative lines.

If you have learned anything about me at all from reading the previous chapters, I hope you understand that I have little reticence to telling anyone exactly what I think. Where many novelists get a bit smug in answering the often-asked question "What did you mean by that?" and usually reply "It means what you think it means," I am rarely so dodgy. I actually enjoy coming right out and telling you what I intend for you wonderful readers to think about things. I will even go so far as to give you the proper interpretation of my driving, whether you really want it or not.

I like being away from people. Almost all of my contact with other people, outside my family, is done because contractual obligation or social etiquette demands such. My preference for places to live would probably be quiet, far off the beaten path, and presumably where other people would choose not to be. If that brings to mind what many would describe as lonely and desolate places, I think you have my meaning. The times when I am forced away from such places, usually by my wonderful wife that actually enjoys a bit of human contact, it is often to meet the needs of others that I am connected to. I have already told my children that I will probably disappear after they are grown and gone and their mother has passed away, if I survive her; such is my interest in being away from the affairs of men. Now, you may not have immediately picked this insight out from the simple thought that I prefer driving on somewhat deserted roads, but I feel that I am obligated to give you high value for your reading time.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I have killed a few rabbits in my times of driving automobiles. I know this again says a lot about me and, if I don't think amiss, about a lot of people. It would be easy to say that I just don't care about little furry animals and happily run them down, but I don't think that is exactly what I revealed. I consider myself mildly well-disposed toward all things leporid, certainly a step or two better than being totally indifferent to them. Although I have killed a number of rabbits under the wheel, I often take the opportunity to make steering corrections, albeit minor ones, in order to avoid crushing the cute little creatures. Though I could have simply let the statement, "...I have killed a few rabbits in my time..." stand on its own, I feel that the small exploration in this paragraph helps others to put off any thoughts of me as some thoughtless killer, especially given my generally asocial disposition regarding people. "He was quiet and kept to himself before he began murdering everyone in sight..."

As a counterpoint to my now growing reputation among hopping animals and those who love them, I will say that I love my wife and my children. I would even go so far as to say that my family would readily agree with my perspective without too much arm-twisting. Additionally, if I were driving a car along my accustomed and nearly-abandoned back-roads, happily recording some private insight, and looked up to see one of my children staring in frozen fear at their impending death just a few meters in front of my vehicle, I would dutifully swerve wildly, probably flipping the car over several times in the process, in order to avoid killing my child. This is the kind of person that I feel that I am and, as you marvelous readers are learning all too well, I am not particularly shy about revealing this in any given manuscript that I write.

All of this talk of cars and rabbits and such is provided, not just for your mid-book entertainment, but to make an analogy to our relationship with God. In making some references to God in this story so far, I had hoped that you brilliant readers would make the connection that divine intervention features quite prominently in these pages. If I were a traditional novelist, I would probably just go on believing that you insightful readers would get my point and keep to the tradition of making vague references and hoping that you will figure those insights out. My "inner autistic" simply cannot let this point go until I feel that you understand completely.

God does not think of you like some random rabbit on his road. I worry that many people, often very religious people, have this view that humans are of only limited consequence to the supreme being. Oh, and if you think that God is only "mildly well-disposed" toward you and that he will shrug off the problem of metaphorically crushing you under his wheel, you would be wrong. God thinks more of you than that because he knows you in a much more intimate way.

If I can bring back the poor rabbits for a moment, I will attempt to clarify things. While I am momentarily stung by the act of killing a rabbit with my car, I think I would be a bit more troubled if I knew that the rabbit's name was Norbert and that he had a wife named Phillis and three kids named Georgie, Aparadax, and Pid. I would be further horrified by my actions if I knew that tomorrow was Pid's birthday and that I had her present right there in the car beside me. My revulsion to causing pain would obviously be intensified by better knowing these creatures and having something of a relationship with them, you must see.

In the case of God, I will reveal that he knows us personally and loves us and cares deeply about what happens to us individually. Sadly, few people honestly believe that and fewer people behave as if they thought such a relationship were true. Although records show that God prefers to be referred to as "our father," most folks don't act as if that is anything more than a cute play on words. The honest fact is that God really is the actual father of every man, woman, and child on earth. Physically, we look like him and typically have the same number of fingers and toes as he does. Emotionally, we can have the same joys that he experiences. Ultimately, we as his children have every opportunity of becoming just as much God as he is. In short, we are the literal offspring of God.

On a personal level, God knows my name is Jason and he knows when I was born, what flavor of ice cream I like to eat, and how much I would like to spend a lot of time on a deserted and stormy seashore, among a million more things about me. He even knows about my driving habits and the fact that I have run down a few rabbits in the past. I imagine that he appreciates my efforts to avoid killing little animals and that ingratiates me a bit in his eyes. I anticipate that, as I seek to know what he wants from me and actually go out of my way to do what he wants, God will be pleased with me, bless me, and be a bit more than just kindly disposed toward me and my desires. Hopefully, I could even trust that he will use his rather large influence over everything to help me, as an honored and appreciated father would do by nature. I think one could package all of this up in one simple word: love.

I hope you brilliant readers are seeing God's influence working in favor of the goodly characters in this story. I hope you see that a few people are working to do the right things and that God is working to help them with the things they would like to have. I also hope you take to heart that God is just as willing to lend a hand in my life and in yours, as we do what he asks us to do. I further hope that you are getting the message clearly as I break all the rules of writing.

With this concern of mine out of the way, we can bid Norbert and his rabbit family "God-speed" as they continue to hop across the back-roads of life, I can peacefully eat my lunch while motoring, and you kindly readers can continue on to notice that God graciously intervenes in the lives of our intrepid characters as he is wont to do.

Next Chapter...

Copyright, Jason Nemrow. All rights reserved.