I was just reading about Google’s self-driving cars. Imagine it, sitting in the back of a car while it drove you home after a hard day’s work. The future of automated household devices is exploding; in fact vacuums that clean by themselves are a winner in my eyes. Of course any good sci-fi geek will tell you about Terminator or the Cylons, the three rules of robots are a bit like our laws – negotiable in some futures. But that can of course be balanced by R2D2, Robbie and the Jetson’s household. It’s exciting and a little daunting to watch things change and develop so rapidly. I am afraid I shall be too old to use a jetpack or hoverboard when they finally become available.
But the self-driving car set me thinking. 14 accidents in a million miles of over 8 years driving none of which were caused by the car. Of course you might have to take into account that the sight of a driverless car distracted the other drivers but there I go making excuses for bad driving. My thoughts are two-fold.
1) These cars just did what they were created to do, they followed their manufacturers instructions and went from a to b to c etc. via the designated points. They followed the rules of the road, the laws of the highway and got where they were supposed to get and did what they were supposed to do.
2) When their ‘job’ was interfered with, I seriously doubt road rage ensued. I doubt the control panel hopped out of the car and started ranting at the other driver. I suspect in traffic jams the driver did not search rabidly for a short-cut or a way to beat the other drivers in the queue. I suspect the cars didn’t get overheated about people cutting in front of them or racing past them.
I think we can learn from this. I am by no means suggesting we are automata, carbon copies of each other, puppets controlled by a puppet master in the sky. But we are designed for a purpose. We are created with a plan in mind. An individual plan tailor-made for each one of us. Mine is not the same as any one of yours and yours are all equally unique. So I need first to get in touch with the ‘manufacturer’, the creator and get my instructions, to download the programme designed specifically for me.
Philippians 2:13 (The Voice)
Then I can follow the rules, keep the laws and go about my business – His business, single-minded, totally devoted. That brings me to the next point. It’s His business not mine so why would I get hot under the collar when things go wrong? Why would I feel jealous of others in snazzier ‘cars’ – more powerful or faster? I would have what is perfect for me. Perfect, custom-built, fitting like the proverbial glove.
The geek in me likes the idea of being driven about in a car without my effort. As a Christian I long to have the mind of Christ to direct and guide me through life being fully conscious of His glory and goodness.