What Do You See When You’re Watching The Wheels?

John Lennon Park, Havana, Cuba What do you see when you're watching the wheels?
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go

John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”.

Many years ago, I heard a preacher instruct his listeners to “set their day in order” when they pray in the morning. In other words, mentally and verbally rehearse what you plan to accomplish that day, the things for which you hope to give thanks when you go to sleep that night. It’s possible that the preacher in question got this idea from Stephen Covey and baptized it, as I heard this right about the time that “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published. The point is that I have adopted this practice into my family of practices, with the minor adaptation of writing down my plans for the day.

What do you see when you’re watching the wheels?

After a relatively active and stressful week, I resolved yesterday to not have a great deal of resolve to do anything in particular. I thought to myself “I might just sit and watch the wheels go round,” a reference to the 1981 John Lennon song. I then had a thought I wasn’t expecting. A voice in my mind’s ear asked “When you sit and watch the wheels go round, what do you see?” I thought that was an excellent question. This was my answer.

“I see people doubling down, practicing justifying judgments, justifying assumptions, justifying the detrimental practices of Step 80 [“I can only practice”], winding [as opposed to unwinding, their investments in judgments, assumptions, etc.], taking bigger investments in their contingent, concocted selves, no matter how far it takes them away from their true selves, from life, from the mission and relationships for which they came into the world, rushing deeper into a troubled dream with their fingers in their ears.”

Christian musician Don Francisco recorded a song called Adam, Where Are You? with the following lyrics:

Though the curse has long been broken
Adam’s sons are still the prisoners of their fears
Rushing helter-skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears.

I was thinking about those lyrics as I wrote my answer. I make no claim that this is a correct answer. I only claim it’s what I see when I’m watching the wheels. What do you see when you’re watching the wheels?

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