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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Running Diagnostics.

Confession of the day: I once drove a vehicle for about 15 months with the check engine light illuminated. Here are the following reasons why:

1. I was insufficiently funded to deal with a automotive expense (Or so I thought).

2. I was too busy (Or so I thought).

3. The car seemed to be operating just fine (Or so I thought).

4. Subsequent to #3, I was never left broke down along the highway. (Well, at least not with that check engine light.)

Why we do or do not attend to auto issues is usually robed in any number of legitimate or illegitimate reasons. Trained professionals in the automotive field share their expertise with common laypeople.

Some of these causal situations are relatively easy and inexpensive to correct. Others are more complex and involve a large sum of cash. Dying batteries, failing oxygen sensors, EGR valves not operating, cam sensors, blocked catalytic convertors, and a hundred other issues can bring despair to your face and all that through a little yellow light on your dashboard. Then there is the easy fix. When buying fuel, make sure to properly secure the fuel tank cap. Sounds straightforward, but you'd be surprised how many check engine lights pop on simply due to fuel tank caps not on or tightened. Wouldn't you know, our latest vehicle purchase is one that has no fuel tank cap!

As a backyard mechanic, I loathe repairs that take hours to complete and the need for two personal loans to cover the cost. I rejoice and try doing double backflips when the fix is as easy as clutching the fuel tank cap and twisting it tight!! Yeah!! Of course, one can't know why the check engine light is on without the help of a diagnostic code reader.

In parallel ways, our body runs well until it doesn't. If we could have warning lights on our forehead, that'd be great! When blood pressure or heart rate are out of whack, the light would come on. If our sugar levels spiked or cholesterol went ballistic, the light would come on. And now you know why it is important to schedule regular doctor visits to keep this body running well.

Back to ignoring my check engine light. It turned out to be a 'cam sensor' that not only went bad but disintegrated. The guts were no longer there....It was an inexpensive fix and was completed fairly quick. Thank God for mechanic brothers in law (mechanic brother in laws??)! His response to me was, "I don't know how your car ran with this sensor broken."

How do you tell when your spiritual life is failing? Do you have a 'check spirit' light that flickers on? Imagine the multitude of things that can affect your spiritual health. An unexpected death wrecks your life. A harsh word from another person hits right between your eyes. Your daily discipline of Bible reading, prayer, and meditation has been pushed to the side because of busyness. You are too busy to attend to spiritual matters. The cost of following Jesus is too high.

All these precursors to spiritual decline are swirling around us. If not for God's provision, we would be destined to come to a grinding halt along the desolate highway of life. Stranded and in need of assistance is where many people find themselves today. Glowing 'check spirit' lights are everywhere. The church is in prime position to be the aid that spiritually ill people so desperately need. Repairing relationships, bonding hope into broken hearts, restoring joy to sorrowful minds, and a hundred other simple fixes can outen the 'check spirit' light that flickers. As one who believes themselves to be healthy, will you be the one to go? Will you help others diagnose their issues? Take your code reader with you. It's the Holy Bible.

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