• "A Musing Pastor"

Worrying today? Yes, me too.

Our van was making a noise every time we would start it. It sounded like a coyote in a wood chipper. Long trips were out of the question simply because we couldn't tell from where the sound was emanating. In my head, I had already decided the repair bill would be hundreds of dollars. I also realized the repairs could be outside my skill level to do the work on my own. Fear began to creep in and the little voices began. You know, the voices that say, "How are you gonna fix this? Where will the money come from for repairs?" And so I tossed and turned. When you are used to having two vehicles to use and then you don't, life does need to change. Independance changes.

Several days ago, I decided to use an old trick I learned while out in the coal fields. I used a listening device and placed it on each suspected part and then pressed the device into my ear (Sort of like a stethoscope). I started the vehicle and began the process. The 18 inch steel breaker bar worked well. I tested the air condition (AC) pump, then the water pump with no discernable difference in sound. I worried a bit more. But then again, maybe the AC pump was a little bit louder than the water pump....? Gaaaa!!! Yes, my mind plays tricks on me and I overthink things.

Monday night I awoke out of a sound sleep. with a thought. If the screeching sound is in the AC pump, is that particular belt running just the AC or is it running other important things like the alternator or power steering pump? (It just so happens our model of vehicle has not one serpentine belt but THREE!)

Yesterday, I searched a bit further and discovered the AC pump has a dedicated belt. Nothing else was operated by that belt. Okay, that is something with which I can work. Then, out of nowhere I saw a little idler pulley that adjusts the belt tension!!!! Hmmm, could this little pulley be making the noise. Enter my makeshift stethoscope! With the car running, I gently placed the bar on the pulley bracket and lo and behold there was 'thee' most grinding and growling sound I had heard so far.

Upon further inspection, it seemed possible to loosen the idler, unhook the AC belt, and then start the car to see if the sound had left. GAME ON!

Well, as it goes, the belt was removed, the key was turned, and the noise had disappeared. All the worries, all the questions, all the unknowns, and every other worry in my head was resolved by a thought that came to me during the night... I'm not certain my own meager brain came up with this thought and I'm pretty sure I had divine assistance on this one. God commands us to not worry and we disobey. We think.... okay, I think I need to asume the weight of the world on my shoulders and somehow the more I worry the better the situation will get... FAIL! The possible several hundred dollar repair bill was reduced to about $50 - $60. Thank you Lord. You are the Good Shepherd! God has gifted us with the ability to reason and trust. Yet, most days, reason and trust are set aside for blatant worry and fear. I need to stop it! How about you?

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has

enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34, NIV)

Cost of replacement pulley - $35, Cost of new serpentine belt - $25, price of knowing God is with know the answer to that!!


First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~