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Crash Test Dummies

              This week I was pondering the fact that some people never seem to be able to connect the dots in life. It’s as if they go through life in a fog and live according to what they’ve learned instead of what they should have figured out. They react instead of being proactive. I believe that is why children who were abused grow up to be abusive parents. There is a part of life that we do learn from but sometimes it seems that we just are missing some logic.

          Take the news story I heard this week for example. It was on the radio and was about the crash test dummy program. The reporter told about the advancements in automobile safety over the past ten years and how that every manufacturer had improved greatly in standards because of this program.

I was intrigued by the fact that millions of dollars are spent each year testing each car and truck on the road in a simulated crash. The occupants, of course, are the famous crash test dummies. The reporter said that they were reusable and that they had different ones for different purposes. For example, there was a certain type of head that had sensors in it to tell about impact velocity. With these they could examine to see if a car accident would be fatal in certain types of collisions. The story included an actual sound clip of the barrier that traveled down a track at thirty-one miles and hour and hitting the side of an automobile.

But the most interesting thing was the last statement of the story. The reporter said, “Even with advances in technology we will probably never completely eliminate traffic fatalities”. I knew that the sentence was something that God wanted me to think about so I turned off the radio. Apparently, the government (and society as a whole) believes that spending money on better technology is the answer to the traffic death toll. It was the old adage of throwing money at a problem instead of looking for the heart of the issue.

God asked me if I knew what the better solution would be. I thought for a minute and said that it seemed to me that driver education was more appropriate to stopping accidents before so we would not have to depend on airbags and seatbelts. Instead of making accidents safer we should focus on making drivers more aware of what they are doing. While it is nice to have a vehicle that is safe in case there is a wreck, wouldn’t it make more sense to have safer people on the road?

Now, as I’ve repeated many times I am not against technology. My job is in Information Technology where I work. The problem is that many people jump on the bandwagon whenever some new technology comes out. Often, it has not been tried to see if there will be a problem down the road.  Making a safer car or truck is certainly a good idea. When I was young there were no seat belts in our family auto and the dashboard was steel. The knobs on the radio were even metal and if there was a wreck I’m sure someone would have been badly injured.

Cars are much safer today but I don’t think drivers are. There are a lot of accidents from the many distractions we have in our automobiles (all technology). We have cell phones, smart phones, ipods, radios and GPS devices. While traveling down the road we seem to forget where we are. It can be storming outside but our climate controlled devices keep our interior cool or warm-your preference. And the distractions are so tempting, aren’t they?     I have a Blackberry that gets email and has a cell phone and radio built in. My calendar sometimes even alerts me while I’m going down the road and I’m guilty of looking to see what I need to do next. All of these things are not required to get from point A to point B but we use them to make the trip seem shorter and to try and accomplish more in our lives.

The crash test dummies are a good example of lives today. If we have problems we seem to want to look for a high-tech solution. If someone is overweight they don’t cut back on eating or change their diet and start exercising. Instead, they look for some new pill that they can take to help them eat the same food and lose weight. People are even having surgical procedures to staple their stomachs and some even have had their jaws wired shut for a period of time because they simply cannot make the life changes they need!

A few years back at my doctor’s office I had a blood test that revealed my cholesterol was climbing. The doctor told me that it was about ten points from being anything to be concerned about and that we would check it the next visit. On my next visit (about a year later) he said that it was 205 but that there was nothing for me to worry about because he would prescribe a pill for me to drop it. He even gave me a few trial samples to start me off. As I went out the door he said that I would need to come in and get a liver test every few months because the pill could cause damage.

By the time I got home I had decided that I really hadn’t taken the cholesterol seriously and I refused to take a pill that I really didn’t need. I immediately stopped eating lots of fatty foods and started taking flax seed oil. I also ate oatmeal every morning. In a few months I checked my cholesterol at 180! It made me a little angry as the doctor never even suggested that I change my diet. He never talked to me about what I should do the first time he saw me.

Think again about that line from the radio story-“Even with advances in technology we will probably never completely eliminate traffic fatalities”. Do we really believe that advances in technology are the answers to our better living?

Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, according to God’s Word. He had wealth and power and ruled a large kingdom for many years. Some of his wisdom is recorded in the Book of Proverbs. Look at Proverbs chapter four. Solomon says that wisdom is the principal thing (v7). In the first few verses Solomon tells us that we need to get wisdom and understanding. Often, people know the facts but don’t know why. As an example, when I was growing up I was taught to watch out for snakes when I picked blackberries because snakes were often found there. I never knew why but guessed that they must have a sweet-tooth. One day Angie and I picked berries with the girls and she told them to watch out for snakes. Our daughter asked me why snakes would hang out under the blackberries and I told her my sweet tooth theory. Angie exploded in laughter! She explained that snakes were there to eat the rodents that liked the berries. No one had ever told me and I never gave it much thought.

I suppose that is the key here-giving something much thought. Solomon tells us that wisdom is the main thing. In verse seven he said to get understanding with all of your getting. We need to understand something first before we apply the fix to the problem.

A few months ago I listened to a message from a lady who had been to the United Nations speaking on abstinence before marriage. She gave the facts that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and STD’s one-hundred percent as the entire UN ambassadors listened. When she finished she took questions. One ambassador told her that it was foolish to even speak of this and that young people were going to do what they wanted to do anyway. He asked her if she really thought it made sense to teach abstinence. Being put on the spot in such a place would be really intimidating. But she looked up and saw a plaque with inscription “World Peace”. She asked the ambassador if he really thought that the world would ever be at peace. He told her”Perhaps not, but we have to try”.  She used that illustration to show him that without goals and aiming high at something we will simply accept failure as acceptable. If we accept that young people will sleep around before marriage and not set some type of standard of excellence they will certainly all fail.

What is the life application here today? Wisdom applies to every aspect of life. For example; if you have a problem in your marriage you need to understand the heart of the problem before you can get the solution. Perhaps the problem is with your heart, your spouse’s, or both. You must not assume anything. Maybe you need a third party involved to see the problem from an outside view.    Maybe you have a problem with money- you don’t seem to be able to live within your budget. Perhaps you learned bad habits from your parents. You need to understand first and then you will be able to straighten out the problem.

Wisdom is the principal thing, friend! Are you running an elaborate crash test dummy program instead of training drivers to be safer? Maybe you have reaped some benefits from your logic and are suffering less than you used to. But you just can’t seem to completely overcome the problem, can you? Jesus is the only way that you will ever be an over comer. No program made by man can change your heart. Jesus can make life new for you. He can save your marriage. He can help you in any problem that you have. He can give you wisdom and the understanding that you need.

Why don’t you call on Him today? Crash test dummies are no match for the real solution.


Prayer-Father, I pray for those who are suffering in ongoing problems that they just can’t seem to break. There are people today who continue to sin the same old sin. They fall at the enemy’s tricks with no hope of ever getting over it. Father, with You there is hope. With You there is an overcoming power to give to us to make us over comers. I pray that You would reveal that to those who hurt today. May they see a light to show them the way into truth.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen




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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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2 Responses to "Crash Test Dummies"

  1. Baron Hawkins says:

    Very interesting article. I have said for years now that no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. They always want to hold someone else accountable. They don’t realize, one day we all will stand before the same Judge and give account for only ourselves and no one else, and no one else will be able to speak on our behalf.

    1. paul paul says:

      Great to hear from you Baron-hope all is well with you! I appreciate you writing. We are busy with the springtime affairs of the farm. Keep in touch!

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