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Friday, April 11, 2014

GONNA GET UP THAT HILL (INCLINE)


GONNA GET UP THAT HILL (INCLINE)
 
In looking back at my rather uneventful life, I realize I have seldom been a leader.  I have not necessarily been a follower, but certainly not a leader.  The one exception I can remember was going up an incline on ice.

It was during a period of my life where I was a steady church goer.  One Sunday we came out of church to find there had been an ice storm during the sermon.  The parking lot was U-shaped; an entrance down a slight incline, the way to the exit was around and up a slight incline.  Our car was parked halfway up the incline on the exit side.

When we got to our car, there were three cars ahead of us trying to go up the incline to the exit.  The lot was shear ice and those cars were going nowhere.   Other church goers were pushing to no avail.  The whirl of those tires spinning ineffectively was almost deafening.  The three cars tires spun and the cars did not move.  The pushers managed to get the cars up maybe six inches after about fifteen minutes of pushing when they just quit.  Moving up and over that incline was futile.

My father was an expert on driving on ice and snow.  He taught me that no matter what, do not let the tires spin.  As soon as the tires spin they dig into a rut and forward progress is next to impossible.  If you want to move on ice, you must start with some momentum and do not push the gas too hard or the tires will spin.

With this knowledge in hand I backed my car out of the parking space.  The church-going pushers waved and yelled at me to stop.  “You’ll get stuck…It’s no use…Don’t even try it!”

I ignored their warnings and backed out and turned the car down the incline.   Now the pushers went crazy.  “NO NO, don’t go down, you’ll never go all the way up the incline!”

I pointed the car down the incline, put it in low, and slowly went down and around to the entrance lane, and without spinning the wheels let the momentum carry me up the entrance side with no problem.  As I reached the top, the other cars in the lot all turned down the incline and followed my lead.  All exited out the entrance as if it was never an issue.

I don’t recall anyone ever thanking me for my leadership, but it still felt good to lead the flock out of the church lot. 

16 comments:

  1. I have never been able to understand why people just press harder on the accelerator when they can't get anywhere on show or ice.

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  2. I'm much better at taking direction than giving it. Don't want to be the boss.

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  3. "...felt good to lead the flock out of the church..."

    I love context!

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  4. Thank goodness you lead the way or they would have been there until the ice melted. It's good to lead sometimes. Well if you know what you're doing.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. :)

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  5. Have you ever lead them INTO the church?

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  6. As the Good Book says: "...and a Cranky Man shall show them the way." Well, if the Good Book doesn't say this it should.

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  7. That was the first thing my mother taught me behind the wheel. It's never failed me.

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  8. Whether on ice or in any kind of life situation--spinning your wheels is just a waste of energy.

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  9. First of all thanks for that. I didn't know. Secondly I had no idea you were such a leader. However if you ran for president I would vote for.

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  10. Who knew you were such a slick Pied Piper?

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  11. I used to live in Buffalo. Anybody from Buffalo know that if it's not August, you carry a bag of cat litter in your trunk. Way to go on knowing how to get those people going!

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  12. I'm with pixel, when I don't have 4x4 or AWD there's salt and/or sand in the trunk for just such opportunities. former church had a drive that was hard to get INto so I'd lay a trail for folks to drive on to get in.

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  13. Leadership is interesting because no one is a natural leader in every context. It's like reading about disasters where the person that saved a lot of people or lead them in doing the right thing was not a leader in that workplace.

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  14. WE don't have many icy hills around here, but if I should ever get stuck on one I'll certainly follow the good advice of St. Joe. :)

    S

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  15. Some times a little common sense helps (but one must know where to apply it)
    What I liked best was "leading the flock out of the church lot"

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