The Cynic And the Ice Cream Truck

Ice cream trucks frequent our street. And I mean frequent. We can see six or more different trucks in a day. And some of those come by more than once (I think being close to the Boys & Girls Club is a factor).

You can hear an ice cream truck coming from several blocks away (one of Beth's friends tells her kids that if they're playing music, that means they're out of ice cream). They all have the same chimey music--like music out of some psychotic kidnapping movie.

Often it's something like "London Bridge is Falling Down," La Cucaracha" or "Pop Goes the Weasel." Once in a while I'll hear something like "When the Saints Go Marching In." The music that always grabs my attention is the out of season melodies. A couple of times I've heard "Easter Parade." More often I hear "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" or "Silent Night."

I admit that my thoughts seldom focus on how "Joy to the World" has come or how I could be included in the throngs of the faithful who come. I typically think about how silly they are to be playing such music (though, it is probably a great marketing ploy in many ways) or how annoying it is to hear Christmas music in July.

Now, I'm not promoting blind religious fanaticism that sits meditatively awaiting an ice cream truck to approach playing a religious hymn and joining along singing at the top of your lungs. I'm starting to realize, however, that it's not helpful for me to turn instantly to cynicism. I could let the music be a reminder of God's gift of His Son to us. I could let it remind me to be "joyful and triumphant." I could let the music be a cue to connect with God at anytime during my day. Maybe, just maybe, that would be a better posture of the heart to be in than cynicism.

So bring on the glockenspiel-based music box of the ice cream truck. Maybe it'll point my heart in the right direction. Unless it's "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer." That just deserves a little cynicism.

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