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Exactly how our car battery ran down and stopped working is for now a matter of quiet conjecture around our house. I am sure that after Luanne and I grow old, and when we have plenty of time to dwell on such things, that the subject will become a wonderful source of spirited and colorful conversation by which to while away our dotage.
But, for now we will simply accept it as part of our reality. We were about four hours from home when it happened, and lost about an hour and a half while we waited for the repair vehicle to show up. It could have been a lot worse, but it wasnt, and for that we are thankful.
The thing is, though, that I could have taken care of the problem myself. I own one of those wonderful Black and Decker battery chargers, and it was in the trunk of my car all along. It had a good strong charge in it, and all I had to do was take it out of the trunk, attach it to my battery, and we would have been on our way in about 10 minutes.
But, I didnt think I had a dead battery. I figured my problem was something far different. After all, the lights were still working, and the bells went ding, ding, ding when I would open the door. A car with a dead battery cant do those things, right?
So, instead of fixing the problem myself, I sat around and waited for the service technician to come and give me the raw truth of the real problem.
When he arrived, and when he turned the ignition and heard it go click, click, he announced to me that I had a dead battery.
But, I thought everything died when the battery died, I said.
He gave me one of those looks that embarrasses and angers all at the same time. You may have one of those looks in your repertoire. I am too nice to have one of those looks in mine.
Anyway, he charged the battery, and we started home, no worse for our trouble.
Still, though, I think of how easy it could have been had I not so quickly given in to my presupposed diagnosis.
Had I not allowed myself to manufacture a bigger problem than I had, and had I given clear thought to the resources I had at hand, things would have worked out much better.
Maybe thats a good illustration of how we respond to the needs of the world around us. We see the needs, but we convince ourselves that they are so beyond our capacity or ability to help that we simply sit back and wait for someone else to take care of it.
We fail to remember that we have great resources. We forget that we can offer a kind word. We forget that a cup of cold water goes a long way. We forget that our greatest gift is the gift of prayer.
Im going to do a better job of remembering what I have. Im going to do a better job of engaging those tools in the work of the kingdom.
Think of it: You, too, have the power to put a charge into life!
And Ill see you Sunday.

August 7, 2011