Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Up on the Rooftop . . .Riding in the Car

by Julie Coulter Bellon

We are having a new roof put on this week and I have been sitting here at my desk trying to edit my newest novel, listening to the pound, pound, pound, of the workers on my roof. It's not easy to concentrate that way. I finally went outside to take a break and while I was watching them work, I was amazed at the workers' agility. We live in a two story home with a very steep roof, and whenever my husband goes up there, he ties himself off in case he falls because it would be a very long drop down and probably would kill him. These workers however, were running back and forth, coming dangerously close the edge and didn't seem the least bit concerned. There were no safety nets, no harnesses, they just seemed to be sure of their footing.

That made me think of a law that recently went into effect that says a policeman can pull you over now, if he sees that you are not obeying the safety laws and are not wearing your seat belt. There no longer has to be a primary violation, he can just see that you're not wearing your seat belt and give you a $45 ticket. Both of these situations, in my mind, directly relate to the gospel.

We have seat belts for our own safety that will protect us from being hurt, or even killed, in an accident. We also have "laws" or commandments from God given to us for our own protection. It is our choice whether we follow man's laws and/or God's laws.

It is very easy to rationalize why we are not wearing our seat belts. Perhaps we might say "I'm in the backseat" or "I'm only going around the corner." (Statistics have shown that a high percentage of car accidents occur within one mile of the home, by the way). It is also very easy to rationalize why we are not following God's laws as well. "No one will know" or "It's just this once." (Maybe we more diligently follow those laws close to home so people won't think ill of us.) It just seems like our lives click into place when we follow the laws we are given, both physically and spiritually. I think we all like to hear that little reassuring "click" when all is where it's supposed to be.

My friend's sister was driving a car with her children inside, and one of the children unbuckled himself. She reached back to help him buckle back in, and lost control of the car. One of her children was killed in the accident, and she never got over that feeling of ‘what if.' My heart ached for her, yet I wonder sometimes, how many people reach out to us, parents especially, see us "unbuckling" in areas of our lives, and yet we fail to heed their calls for caution, and only cause ourselves a lot of pain.

As I sit here now, listening to the pound, pound, pound on my roof, I still marvel at the sure footing of the workers above me. I think the gospel gives us that sure footing in a spiritual manner, although I think it is still a good idea to "tie off" or have a "safety net" of some sort, so you don't fall, just like a seat belt provides some protection as well. Life is such a great ride with lots of ups and downs, so be sure, buckle up and be safe


At 6/23/2006 6:42 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

Julie, I don't know if this will work or not, but usually when I try to comment on your blog or Jeff's my comments get lost in cyber space and never appear. Anyway, good blog today, but I can't get past your last one. I'm reading a book now, pretty good book actually, but the cover looks like one of your "incidents". I can't help smirking every time I pick that book up.

At 6/24/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jennie, someone e-mailed me and said that there was a 70's movie with such a theme as my "incident" blog. I think they said the name of the movie was Caddyshack or something. The pool man in the movie apparently figured out the "incident" was chocolate in front of the crowd and took a bite out of it. Now THAT would have been extremely horrific if it had happened at my local pool.

You never answered my question as to whether there will be a sequel to Wild Card. I really want to know since Wild Card was so different and definitely captured my interest.

At 6/25/2006 12:57 AM, Anonymous Jennie Hansen said...

Julie, this seems an odd way to communicate, but no, I don't have a sequel to Wild Card planned. But I've had my plans changed before. My western started out as a single book (actually it started out as a short story challenge that Jeff tossed out several years ago when a group of us were talking about writing a Christmas compilation with each of us writing in a genre different from our usual genre--and like Topsy, it just grew), then my editor suggested I split it into companion novels, something I'd never done before. It was fun and I probably will write another western someday.


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