Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gas, Sheep, and Common Sense

Here in the Nashville area we have been experiencing the public trauma of a gasoline shortage.  As I've been blogging on the effects of Ike in South Texas, we began to notice his effects up our way as well.  Not that a gas shortage can hold a candle to complete devastation, but apparently there are many who think it's truly the end of the world.
Beginning this past weekend, long lines began forming at gas stations as people began getting news that Ike had damaged oil supply lines coming up from Houston.  Instead of listening to the complete story of the pipeline being fixed and things getting up and running again, and supplies being right back to normal in a week; panic set in at the mention of "shortage!"  So, along with snaking lines winding round stations, virtue and self-control went right out the window.  Not only were folks wanting to fill their tanks, but all their empty gas cans as well.  Angry tempers, swearing and snarling were not scarce at all.  What a contrast to the determined patience of those who'd just lost everything further south.  

So, what's this got to do with sheep?  Isaiah tells us that "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way:" (56:6)  All we, like sheep, are rather dumb at times. Ever seen a sheep panic?  He'll scramble all over the place, but obviously not be thinking much about what he's doing.  A herd of sheep in a panic is all that and more.  I wish we weren't so much like sheep, but we are.  It's why we so desperately need a Shepherd.

The Governor tells us that this shortage should ease by Thursday, that's only two days away; and that the whole mess could have been averted if people had not gone into panic buying mode.  But, I noted some other things, too, that weren't so discouraging.  Because of having to conserve, traffic in the stores and on the road was much lighter.  Commerce was still going on, but in a seemingly more thoughtful way.  More planned, more thought out.  There were more people out on bicycles and on foot.  Hmm.., save money... get fit...two things we Americans need to improve upon! 

No comments: