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Friday, June 21, 2013

Need a good mechanic?

Correction:  a substitute for what is wrong or inaccurate.  Sometimes we find ourselves in a little need of correction, huh?  Maybe it is not so much being completely wrong, but it is a sense of "inaccuracy" in our lives which gets us going in the wrong direction.  It is kind of like only seeing half of a room and then thinking the other half is a mirror image of the half we can see.  Wouldn't we be surprised to turn around and see the room we thought was filled with beautiful artwork also contained a few corpses?  Correction puts things in the right framework - gives us the right perspective when what we have been pursuing is just a little inaccurate.  It also gives us a swift kick in the seat when what we have been pursuing is totally and completely wrong!

I know, God, that mere mortals can’t run their own lives, that men and women    don’t have what it takes to take charge of life.  So correct us, God, as you see best.  (Jeremiah 10:23-24 MSG)

Jeremiah is pretty straight with God.  They have been having this dialogue about the condition of Judah - some are in outright rebellion against what God had instructed while others are merely a little off-course and could be set back on course with only the slightest correction.  If you have ever taken your hands of the wheel in your car to see if your car will "drift" a little to the right or left, you probably did it to see if your wheels were aligned.  Why?  Aligned wheels get better wear, don't cause as much effort in the driving, and just keep us on course better.  If you have ever been distracted by something flying around in the car, swatting furiously at the thing trying to shoo it out the window, you might just have experienced the sudden need to "jerk" your car back into your own lane!  Both of these require correction - one is immediate and the action required is well within your ability, the other requires expertise outside of your skill set.

There is a point in our lives when we must realize some of this stuff which needs correction in us is outside of our skill set!  We need to go to the one who knows best how to get it done!  Adjustment in course is part of life - sometimes we can do it because we just took our attention off the course a little.  At other times, we just need to admit to God the need for his help to sort out what the thing is which keeps us from being on course!  I can see the uneven wear on my tires.  I don't know whether it is too much tilt this way or than - they call these caster, camber, toe, and thrust angle.  Now, I could find that information on any search of the good old internet highway, but can I go out today and fix the alignment on my car?  Nope - I don't have the tools, know how about the right measurement to choose, or even the desire to get that dirty!  I take my car to the mechanic I trust because he can set these things all in right order and in less time than I could ever do it.

There are times when we don't have the tools spiritually.  We need something outside of our "regular" tool set we have come to rely upon.  These are times when we might just need to go to someone of greater spiritual maturity than ourselves.  They might just possess the tool God designed to be used to correct whatever is out of alignment in our lives.  There are other times when we need some alone time with the Great Mechanic, God himself.  In those moments, he sets about to correct what causes us great "drift", excessive "wear and tear", and even a little "discomfort" in our travels.

Have you ever let a gentle correction go unheeded?  I have!  I have come out in the morning to a small indicator light on showing my tire pressure low.  Well, I thought it meant it was low, not flat as a pancake!  I drove a couple of miles to the nearest gas station, not realizing the tire had about zero air in it.  Guess what?  I not only could not maintain the air pressure in this tire, I needed a totally new one because I damaged the sidewall by driving on it!  Some of us don't heed the gentle corrections.  When we don't, the more "robust" correction may be needed.  I could have called AAA before I left the house to change the tire and put on my spare - if I had looked at what the warning light was trying to say to me.  I could have saved myself about a hundred bucks if I had.  The tire swap with the spare would have been relatively cheap compared to the ultimate problem of having to replace the entire tire, especially since my AAA was paid up and the tire change would have only cost me a little time!

As much as we don't like correction, if we ignore the warnings long enough, the damage caused by our unwillingness to accept the correction will far outweigh the small investment of our time, energies, and focus to pay attention in the first place!  Just sayin!