There was a rubbing sound that was coming from the back of our car as we turned around corners. I didn’t think much about it. I knew I needed to get it looked at, but when? Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. This week I had time to get the oil changed and while they were at it, had them check out the rubbing noise.
It turned out to be the electronic controlled coupling for the rear final drive. And no, I don’t know what that means – I’m not a car guy. The shop, who we trust, said this, “If this is not serviced soon it will cause the rear differential to go out. If you are not going to fix this now, I would not suggest driving the vehicle until it is repaired.”
We had the shop fix the car and now it runs smoothly As I reflected on the situation, I noticed a few things that might mirror our relationship with God.
- The problem was more serious than I thought.
So often we learn to live with something that is wrong. It might be a sin that we are dealing with or a broken relationship that needs mending. We don’t do anything about it because we can always get to it later. We don’t understand the gravity of the situation.
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.” (Matthew 5:23–25, ESV)
- The oil change revealed a more significant problem.
It’s so easy to get frustrated with our circumstances. In many cases, not all, our circumstances are simply revealing what is already in our heart. The divorce was a result of an anger issue. The bankruptcy was born out of laziness.
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:18–19, ESV)
- Driving with a noise free car brought more peace than I anticipated.
Noticing the noise every time we turned the corner was a reminder there was something I need to deal with. It wasn’t much, but it was always in the back of my mind nagging. Four times in the book of Acts repentance is referred to as a gift. You and I are not designed to carry around guilt and shame. Turn to him today and he will give you peace.
“When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”” (Acts 11:18, ESV)
We have a phrase that we use around the office: run toward awkward. Often, we don’t want to deal with a particular sin or difficult relationship because it will be tough and most likely awkward. However, you will never move forward until you do.
Whatever it is you need to deal with, run towards awkward. Recognize the serious of the situation. Don’t let it cause damage that will ripple through your life if left unattended. In doing so I trust that you will experience a peace that only God can bring.