I did something really stupid today.
Admittedly I am not a car person ... and unfortunately, neither is my husband even though his brother and two uncles are all mechanics. So, when the check engine light started flashing at me today I just reached up and thumped on the dash and pushed on the gas harder. The car moved where I wanted it to go but it shook like crazy.
Well, the car had been having some problems dying when I stopped at red lights lately but we had chalked it up to the ethanol in the gasoline because it never happens when we don't use ethanol in the gas. And as my brain processed some more and I looked at the computer tag that told me I was low on gas, I pulled into the nearest gas station without ethanol added gas and filled up.
But ... alas ... the car still sputtered and spewed and rattled ... and that pesky check engine light just flashed away at me.
I went on to where I had to work today and did my time. When I finished I came out and had a twenty mile drive home ... and my car was still flashing at me. So in my brilliant moments of all times, and I was so glad no one was in the car to hear me, I talked to my car. First soothingly telling it that everything would be ok and reassuring it that I would call the mechanic as soon as I got home. But that light flashing at me and my car sputtering even worse on the hills I had to climb between work and home, did little to soothe my nerves so by the time I got home I was no longer being soothing or reassuring. I was yelling at my car "just quit flashing that stupid light at me and everything will be fine".
As if the flashing light was the problem in the first place ...
Well as the day progressed and I got home, my son heard of my trials with the car as I explained them to my husband and he went out and pulled the oil stick gauge thingy out of the car and brought it inside. It was dry. I don't mean there was old oil on the edges or just a drip on the end. I mean it was dry. There was nothing there.
So I called the mechanic and asked if he could look at the car tomorrow and he said to bring it out first thing. Then I went to the store and bought some oil and put it in. By the time I got home the car was purring again.
I'm still taking the car to the mechanic.
But what I realized as I sat thinking about my dumb mistake and how I handled it was how the situation mirrors our lives with God sometimes.
We go along with our lives and we pray every day and we go to church and we have our fellowship time and we feel refreshed and alive in the Lord and then we get busy one week and we don't get to Bible study and we tell ourselves, "oh well, it's just one week". And then we have a busy week, so to crib in a little extra time to our night's sleep, we stay in bed another half hour instead of getting up to go pray ... and we tell ourselves, "one day won't hurt", "God knows what we want anyway." And then we decide that we need a weekend off and we go out of town somewhere and skip church altogether telling ourselves "oh well, God knows I love him and I'll sing some extra worship songs in the car on the way to work this week."
And we're right. Missing one week of Bible study won't hurt. If you're over 40 like me and have been a Christian as long as I have, you could probably teach the Bible Study better than the 26 year old across the table anyway. And God does know what is in our hearts and what we want and what we need without being asked. And God does know I love him and that when I worship it doesn't matter if I'm in a church or not.
But then one week turns into two and sleeping in becomes a habit and why bother with church on Sunday morning when I can sing in my car ...
I don't know about you when you get to that point, but I start getting depressed ... and irritable ... and then I yell at people ... and then hide in my room ... I just clunk along with what I have to do, choking and sputtering the whole way.
Our faith is about Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior ... not about Bible studies and prayer meetings and church worship on Sunday ... and yet, those are the things that keep us oiled and working well. They are like the oil in the engine on our car. God's word makes everything run smoother, prayer keeps metal from chafing on metal, and worship on Sunday mornings keeps our gas tanks filled with ethanol free fuel.