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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Thursday, December 10, 2009

God's Dashboard Light

I just returned home from our trusty mechanic, Mr. Ken, to find out why Jarhead's (that's my car's name) "check engine" light keeps coming on. At first Mr. Ken thought it was just a loose gas cap, but now it turns out that it's something in the emissions system that is going to cost $500. Oh, goody... I can think of lots of ways to spend $500 that would be a lot more fun or practical.

The good news is that Mr. Ken assured me that I don't need to do this immediately. It won't cause the car to quit or leave me stranded on the side of the road. He told me I could wait until after the holidays to have this work done and it wouldn't hurt anything. It's just that annoying light on the dash--my gaze keeps glancing down to look at it, as if staring at it will make it go away. Then I thought of a way to fix it for a whole lot less than $500.

I gathered a few tools: a screwdriver, snips, tape measure, electrical tape. I've never been mechanically inclined, but I was fairly certain I could perform this task. Sucking in a deep breath and with confidence building, I gathered my tools and marched to the garage. I could do this.

First, I extracted the tape measure and ran it across the space on the dashboard to calculate the measurement. Then, with the screwdriver, I poked a hole in the cellophane packaging around the electrical tape and pulled it off. So far, so good. Carefully transferring the measurement I'd taken earlier to the electrical tape, I snipped off a precise piece of black tape. I took another deep breath to steady my nerves--I'd never attempted this before... Finally, I lined up the tape and placed it strategically on the dash, covering the "check engine" light. Problem solved. I felt like a mechanical genius.

There have been many times in my life that I knew God was trying to tell me something. Sometimes I listened, but other times I ignored Him or offered a flimsy excuse for not heeding His counsel. Brushing aside God's nudging is like covering the "check engine" light with electrical tape. I can't see it, but it's still there. Hiding it won't make it go away, just like ignoring God's direction won't render it non-existent.

Instead of disregarding the touch of God's finger on my heart, I can see it as a comfort that God won't leave me alone. If I peel back that black electrical tape, that silly dash light is still there and it will continue to remind me that I need to address this problem. God's Holy Spirit stays with me, whispering to my soul until I follow His leading. I may think I've effectly blocked out His voice, but His love can never be silenced. I know this because He continually sends me little mercydrops to demonstrate His everlasting presence in my life.

At some point, I will have to decide to have Jarhead's problem fixed. I know this. When God speaks, I have a choice. I can say "Yes, Lord, I'm listening" and then obey what He is telling me to do. Or, I can say, "Not now, I'm too busy, ask someone else to do that." It's my choice. Following God in obedience always results in a blessing. Making a poor choice, like ignoring God's nudging, might not leave me stranded on the side of the road, but it does mean loss of fellowship with Him--something that grieves me as much as it does God. Knowing He is always as close as my breath and my very heartbeat is a comfort beyond description.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

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