A Musing Pastor
The Mechanics of Faith
I don't mean to brag or anything but I can fix stuff!!!
Okay, let me rephrase that statement.....I can fix some stuff.
Ah, one more time, I can fix a few things....
In fact, my ability to fix things is fairly limited in comparison to the highly trained technicians in major automobile shops.
However, I like to identify as one who understands the importance of preventative maintenance. You know, that practice of keeping things in good working order. I can oil door hinge points, change oil and filters on the engine. Replacing air filters and checking fluid levels are a few other areas of care I can perform. Having tires with correct air pressure is also a good practice for a few reasons that include fuel mileage, tire wear, etc. Since I am not a wiz at fixing everything, I must attend to as much preventative maintenance as I can. (For some reading this, it would mean taking your auto to the shop to pay someone to do these things.)
Currently, our world is gripped by an invisible demon called COVID-19. Reports of millions of jobs being lost, people committing suicide, families grieving loved ones lost to the virus, and sad situations of families being stranded apart from one another shake us to the core. Furthering our fear are 'stay at home' orders and knowing we need to go to the store for essential supplies. Will we be near someone who has the virus and does not know they have it? Will there be essential supplies in the store to purchase? The questions are many and some have no definite answer.
And now, the mechanics of faith comes to the table for discussion. In times like these, it is imperative for followers of Jesus to be daily practicing good spiritual habits. This preventative maintenance of our life of faith is similar to checking fluid levels in a vehicle. Catching a dipstick that is 2 quarts low on oil will prevent the engine from making funny noises and save a huge repair bill.
The apostle Paul encouraged believers in the church at Rome to be actively engaging their spiritual health, maintaining it, strengthening it, and broadening it. Take a look!
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your
bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper
worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2, NIV)
Offering our bodies as living sacrifices sounds morbid. Not really when one considers what Jesus did on the cross. If we are faithful to Christ's directive to go into the world to be salt and light (to help transform the world for Christ), that action requires sacrifice on our part. If we are faithful to obey Jesus' command it also requires us to be in peak spiritual operating order. Attending daily to God's word (Biblical instruction), spending solitary time in prayer (communing with God), and growing in our understanding of our God (renewing our mind) helps us be able to be effective salt and light in the world. We in a parallel nature are akin to an automobile in peak operating condition.
NOTE: Each of us must attend to our own spiritual health. We can consort with
others for guidance and care but ultimately our vitality in faith rests on our desire
to be healthier, stronger, and more effective in ministry
Take a few minutes to reconnoiter your spiritual health and see what kind of operating condition you are in. If there are a few unusual noises emitting from your heart, take some time to run a diagnostic (Read your Bible) and have the computer scanned for glitches (allow the Holy Spirit to scrub the system).
If the Church is to be an effective means of grace for the world, it will need to be women and men who are in top spiritual operating condition. Be a good mechanic of your faith.