Pump Shock!

Fuel, Gas, oil

What is it about our headlines lately?  I see everywhere how much gas prices are on the rise.  These are just some headlines: 

 “Farmers Feeling Fuel Price Increase”03/19/2008 03:59 PM - By: David Kernodle “Pumped up Fuel Prices”http://www.kolnkgin.com/home/headlines/16462796.html, Lincoln, Nebraska, 3/10/08, reported by Karina Kling “Fuel Prices Could Trickle Down to Food Prices”WJAR-TV, 3/18/08, Cranston, RI “Gas Prices Are Within Pennies of Their Peak”Journal Sentinel, 3/08/08 “Showrooms Gearing Up for Green Vehicles”Journal Sentinel, 3/05/08 

Hey, I see how high fuel costs are personally, every time I drive past a gas station and every time I fill up.  I asked a friend today what he had to say about the high fuel costs and he said, “They’re high!”  Yes, that is what everyone seems to be saying.  What I am not seeing is what we can do to either drive the price back down, because it seems our society can’t live without its gasoline and diesel!  Oh, there are new reports about “green vehicles,” but the average person, like me, cannot just go out and purchase a new vehicle.  We need transportation fuel because we have built our societies around the need to drive—EVERYWHERE!  We jump into the car at a moment’s notice.  We drive to church, the grocer’s, the gas station, our kids’ events and activities, shopping, visiting and out to eat.  Most of us now live in areas that do not have all these things locally; i.e., within walking or biking distance.  Now we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place, and it is very uncomfortable, especially financially. 


Paying for fuel is taking the fun out of life!  Who wants to drive a long distance to see beloved relatives or visit all the lovely sites in Wisconsin when we know it will cost at least $50 just to fill up our tanks.  Not only is there the cost of doing whatever we do when we arrive at a destination but we have the cost of filling up the tank and the upkeep of our automobiles.  It is more than uncomfortable; it is an outright headlock! 


The high cost of fuel is not just affecting how we get from one place to another but pricing.  Everything that we purchase or need, from food to stamps to clothes, must be brought to the store or market in some sort of vehicle.  That transport company must also pay the high cost of fuel to bring us the products.  Who is going to cover those costs?  Why, WE will—the consumer.  Money does not grow on trees, and we do not get a raise at work every time the cost of fuel goes up.  And we need fuel just to get to our jobs so we can earn money to pay for the fuel and, of course, food and medicines and all the whatnots that make up our lives!  High fuel pricing is MADNESS! And I do not see any end to it.


Who has us in this headlock?  The oil companies?  The oil barons?   The wars?  The politicians?  Wall Street?  The President of our United States of America?  Congress?  The Senate?  The news reports do tell me that I am not alone in my irritation.  Yet none of the reports reveal the true source of this nightmare.  Nor have I read a reasonable way to get around the high costs.  I saw the oil barons appear before Congress in their perfect suits and slicked back hair.  Doesn’t an appearance before Congress seem like a waste of time?  Was anything of great import accomplished?  I have never seen, nor heard, of anyone confessing before Congress like on a good Perry Mason show when the criminal confesses on the stand because of Perry’s cunning questions.  Our Congress just is not that cunning!  Rather, the oil baron’s have their speeches prepared and proofed by lawyers before they walk in the room to respond to inquiries about high prices.  The oil companies have to pay for preparing to appear before Congress.  I am sure that does not come cheap.  Maybe that’s the reason fuel costs went up again! 


How can we get to the heart of the matter?  I hear often that we depend too much on oil, especially foreign oil.  This is true.  What hurts is that we know better than to depend on other countries to feed us natural resources.  Yet we still do it.  Don’t we have enough talent in our own country to design products, like automobiles, that depend on our own natural resources found right here in our own back yard?  If we cannot use our own resources, then we maybe should do without it.  Redesigning things can be a simple matter when engineers are involved—talk about intellect and know how!  Just let graduate students have at it with engines that work with water and corn and even sugar.  And as a nation, those are the people and products we should support and purchase!  Likely this can be done at a lesser cost to consumers than purchasing something in other countries which risks war over the resources.  Really, we can be so silly sometimes!


So what do we do now?  Who has the answer?  We know the answer is out there, in America.  Maybe we could call our state reps and other state leaders on the carpet and let them know we are watching them.  We want them to represent “us” and, not oil barons,  when they pass laws.  We want them to protect us and our environment; they should not spend their time making us realize we made a mistake when we voted for them.  Our leaders should be thankful for their positions as leaders and prove they are worthy of our vote.  However, I fear that if any candidate would strut the truth, we might not believe it or recognize it—so corrupt are our politics these days!  Maybe they always were.    


Ultimately, there is someone we can trust.  God!  And once we trust God, we can then trust what God can do through us.  God loves us.  We are His children.  He has granted us use of His power and wealth and creativity.  It is true that we are limited only by our own imagination.  In this case, when we fail to believe in our own (group and individual) ability to change the world for good, we lose ground. 

 “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Gandhi 

We must believe in God and ourselves, and as His people we are called to show others the way.  We can show others how to take care of ourselves, one another, and God’s creation.  Modeling the behavior we want to see in the world speaks volumes.  Let us be about our Lord’s work in our homes and the community always aware that many are watching, including God Himself. 

 “Preach the Gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.”  St. Francis of Assisi 

If we vote for a leader who claims to be a child of God, then they need to live up to that claim in all things.  God does not call us to be His children sometimes but ALL THE TIME.  Either we are or we aren’t.  If we say we are, then we are held to a higher standard.  Sometimes that standard might be unpopular; sometimes it puts our jobs at risk.  But can we do it any other way?  We are capable of taking a stand.  We must remember that our time on this world is temporary.  Anything that we do in the world will likely outlive us.  Rather than raping the environment or one another financially, let us make it a better place.  We can do it!  We are God’s children!


Go with God. - Cindy


 Nelson Mandela:  On Being Enough Our deepest fear is not that we are adequate; our deepest             Fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.            We ask ourselves:Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?            Actually, who are you not to be?            You are a child of God.Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other            People won’t feel insecure around you.             We are all meant to shine, as children do.We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.            It’s not just in some of us.            It’s in everyone.            As we let our own light shine,We give other people permission to do the same.As we are liberated from our own fear,Our presence automatically liberates others. 

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