I changed the thermostat in my 2001 Impala last week. Now, for everyone other than mechanics and DIY aficionados, that may sound impressive. Maybe…maybe not. A couple of weeks before that, I took apart and cleaned the control unit of my constantly-discharging water softener and also replaced a faulty solenoid. The result is a well-functioning unit and a savings of at least $150 over what the repairman would have charged me. “Wow, what a handy guy,” you might think.
I often wish I possessed significant knowledge about cars and all other things mechanical. The truth of the matter is that I don’t, no matter how it might appear to others. But here’s what I do possess – access to the internet and a pretty good idea of what projects I can and cannot handle.
There is a truly astounding amount of information stored out there in the immense information aggregation we know as “the internet.” With a little persistence, one can not only get a pretty good idea of what is wrong with a 2001 Impala when the temperature gauge does not move off the lower bound of its measuring range, but also a list of any necessary tools or parts and step-by-step instructions for making the repair. All that is left is to decide whether one can or wants to handle the job. It’s pretty simple, really. Even for me.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
Lisa and I have found ourselves in somewhat of a “funk” recently. Perhaps it is all of the stresses of life or the self-inflicted lack of sleep we have been experiencing lately. Whatever the cause or causes, we have been unusually short with one another and generally lacking in appropriate expressions of love and affection. The result is two rather tired, somewhat fragile people just trying to get through another day.
I often wish that I possessed better insight into why I do the things I do, why I continue to make mistakes and cause harm to myself and to the people I hold most dear. The truth of the matter is that I am a finite, fallible human being. And despite my best attempts to give the appearance of “having it together,” I really don’t, no matter how it might appear to others. But despite my numerous weaknesses and failures, despite high levels of fatigue and low levels of expressive love, here is what I do possess – the Word of God and a Savior who loves me and restores me no matter what messes I get myself into.
It is truly astounding how much information is packed into the Bible. One can use it not only as a diagnostic tool to help one get a pretty good idea of the condition of one’s heart and soul, but also as a list of any necessary changes and step-by-step instructions for making the repair.
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
And as we are reminded again during this Advent season, the God of the universe gave up his heavenly position to come to earth as a man and pay the ultimate penalty for my sins and yours. All that is left is to decide whether one wants to follow the Child, the Savior – to allow Him to bring forgiveness and fullness into one’s life.
It’s pretty simple, really. Even for me.
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
1 JOHN 4:9-12