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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Bumper Cars

Oct. 28, 2012

We all know that pushing and shoving are normally against the rules. But on the bumper car ride, the rules are a little different. In these slow-moving, bouncy vehicles, crashing into other cars is OK. In fact, such collisions are encouraged. And most riders think it’s great fun.

Bumper cars haven’t been around as long as some other amusement rides, like the carousel and Ferris wheel. Bumper cars were invented in the 1920s. Back then, it cost about 15 cents to ride. By the 1950s, bumper cars were a regular attraction at amusement parks and fairs.

Over the years, people have invented different versions of the popular ride. In 1961, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, introduced a new ride called Flying Saucers. The spaceship-shaped bumper cars hovered a few inches above the floor. A system of air jets kept the cars floating as they moved and bumped against one another. It worked like a giant air hockey table.

But the ride didn’t stick around long. It had a lot of mechanical problems. And since only a few people could ride at a time, the lines were long. The Flying Saucers attraction was removed in 1966.

Today there are bumper boats, small vessels designed to float around and collide in a pool of water. There are also ice bumper cars that glide across the slick floors of ice skating rinks.

All bumper rides have at least one thing in common. They’re made for bumping. The cars are wrapped in big, rubber bumpers. This absorbs much of the energy from crashes so no one gets hurt.

On a bumper car ride, collisions happen. When someone bangs into your bumper car, you’ll probably want to bump back. It’s all part of the fun.

But God doesn’t want us to live like we’re always on a bumper car ride. In everyday situations, we shouldn’t try to get even. The Bible teaches us to repay cruelty and insults with kindness. That’s one of the best ways to show the love of Jesus. It may even help someone else come to know Jesus.

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV).

— By Christina Quick

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