Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Fridge That Knows What You Want

We have this fridge. It thinks for us. Stuart opens the door to get creamer for his coffee. Something falls on his foot. "Here," offers the helpful fridge, "have some mustard."

John reaches in for the juice to wash down his vitamins. "Oh no. What you need is butter." The fridge drops a stick down on his head.

If we want ice, the fridge withholds it. He is saving the ice up to spit out a few cubes when we really need it... while we are sleeping... or grocery shopping.

I used to get aggravated at this mechanical marvel until Stuart named it The fridge that knows what you want. Somehow this made the food avalanches funny. Now when the fridge says, "Peanut butter is tastier with pickles than with jam." I can put the pickles back without cursing at the fridge.

We live in this culture. It thinks it knows what we want. It cries aloud in the market place and offers its wares. Someone recently put a copy of Seventeen Magazine in my hands. The glossy pages sell iridescent green and gold eye shadow that create an Egyptian look. Dresses are on display... some cute ones and some for a lady of the evening. There is an article on different types of birth to acquire to use it. Articles on abusive dates... on drug overdose... on embarrassing moments... more shocking than embarrassing really. Maybe if more was written on purity and self-respect it wouldn't be necessary to devote so many pages to the consequences of poor choices.

This culture has moved from coed dorms to coed dorm rooms. Use of inhalants, alcohol and drugs continue... children also choke one another for the same high. It seems depravity has no limits. How does a parent raise a child to skirt the snares that reach out to drag him down?

This morning, John and Lauren are in the kitchen. I hear, "Howard Stern rules! Howard Stern rules!" above the running water and clanking dishes. This makes me curious. I find out they are discussing an incident in a book where a parrot is taught to mimic this line.

"Do you know who Howard Stern is?"

They look at me with blank stares. "No, Mama. Who?"

They've got the innocent as doves part down. Now it's time to make them shrewd as serpents. "Howard Stern has a radio program. He uses rude language and talks about things that make people think in a way that is not pleasing to God." I find an unflattering photo of Mr. Stern on the Internet to drive this point home.

I could ignore this world my children are readying themselves to build their own nests in. I could leave them to their own devices... tell them, "Do what you think is best... make your own choices." but I will not. I will teach them to recognize folly. I will teach them to hear the voice of wisdom... for she too calls aloud. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.

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