Monday, March 17, 2008

Life simplification, gas price style

My guess is that the escalating cost of gas won't actually change lifestyles to any great extent. I'd love to think it will persuade more people to take public transportation, bike from place to place, etc. but those who do so will likely be in the minority.

My mind likes to play all the possibilities, though, and today I was thinking about what might happen if gas prices actually caused people to stay in more, avoid driving from Beaverton all the way in to Portland just to have a drink, stopped going out of their way to do things that are costing $8 in gas mileage.

What if the cost of gas caused people to slow down? Sit at home reading a book instead of running about at breakneck speed? Walk around your community noticing things rather than treating it only as an area in which to live? Focus on a few close friends rather than trying to catch up with 32 different ones at the Lucky Lab?

I know I'm romanticizing the whole simplified lifestyle, but I can't help wondering if the gas prices could actually pull us closer to the Lord. We're in this Facebook world replete with faux relationships. Were we designed to be that way? As my friend January pointed out months ago, Jesus only had 12 disciples. Realistically, the core group of those disciples was only three deep. Sure, he talked to others, but he focused on a very small number of people rather than trying to gather a huge social network. He always kept his closest people with him. Might we be better off doing the same?

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