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  • "A Musing Pastor"

This is the air I breathe.


Everytime I get in my truck there is a smell. It's cross between a wet dog and a moldy piece of bread. After a few minutes running either the heat or AC the smell dissipates. The other day, I stopped into the autoparts store and purchased a 'new' cabin filter for my vehicle. Yes, cabin filters are designed to filter the air that blows into your cabin space. (**insert perplexed look here**) Some folks are not aware this filter even exists. Some folks are unaware this should be replaced about every 10 to 12 thousand miles. Healthy lungs are important.

I crawled underneath the dash of my truck and saw no visible means of opening the cabin filter compartment. Time to go check out You Tube videos on the subject. Not to be ill-equipped, I purchased a shop manual for the truck too. After carefully searching the manual, I could find no instruction on cabin filter removal and replacement. Hmm, strange.

The video on You Tube described a backyard mechanic's (Do It Yourself) solution to my dilemma. I was instructed to cut the compartment open with a sharp knife. Understand, this workspace is sort of like climbing into the space underneath your kitchen sink. Underneath the dash on the passenger side of the cab you'll find your workspace. Okay, I can do this. And so armed with a very sharp knife, I began.

In my head, I was envisioning the old filter and how crumby it would look. I was envisioning mold, dead bugs, and what not covering this 14 year old filter. After successfully cutting through the bottom of the compartment, I retrieved the cover piece and peered up into the space that should have had a filter in it. Nothing! I looked more closely. Nothing! Perhaps I needed to crane my neck more and twist slightly to the left to see the filter. Nothing! Wait, you mean to tell me this vehicle never had a cabin filter in it? Right from the factory, this vehicle never had a means to filter the air I breath while I'm driving? So much for clean air for my lungs. Clearly, there is a place for a filter. It was designed to receive one. There wasn't one in there.

I learned something. Someone's curiosity led them to discover the cabin filter compartment was empty. They also realized an aftermarket filter could fit into this space to provide cleaner air to passengers in the automobile. They decided to construct a way and means to accomplish this important modification.

Consider the various stimuli we breathe everyday. Is there a working filter to sift out unwanted or dangerous items? Does the filter on our heart and mind strain out anger, bitterness, lust, profanity, gossip, and many others foreign particles? Does our heart even have a filter? Or, did we come from the factory without any means to protect our hearts and minds? In several places in scripture, (actually 122 times) God instructs us to guard ourselves. It sounds to me as though we must choose to do this. We must place filters in strategic areas of our lives in order to protect vital items like our minds and specifically our soul.

"My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep

them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above

all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep

corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make

level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your

foot from evil." (Proverbs 4:20-27, NIV)

Given the enormous amount of corrosive stuff swirling around us, it is imperative we get a filter in place. Let's commit to implement a filtering system to protect our hearts and minds and therefore strive for healthier personal lives and interactions with those around us. Contorting into strange shapes and using sharp knives shouldn't be necessary. Stopping unwanted trash from entering our lives should drive us all forward to do this. This is the air I breathe. This is the air you breathe.


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