Troubleshooting life: A Perfect Mechanic

I’m using the extra time I have due to quarantine to do some much needed organizing. In a pile of papers, I found an article from a 1999 Motor Age Magazine. Yes – Motor Age – something I copied at an auto repair shop while my car was being serviced over 20 years ago. The author of the article is Art Welling, a Master Technician with multiple certifications and 30 years’ experience in the auto mechanics business. You would think he had seen it all, but one customer’s car malfunction had all his technicians stumped, so he had to step in to figure it out.

The customer, a sweet 80-year-old long time patron of his shop, brought her car in, because she just couldn’t get her car (a Ford Maverick – remember those?) to start in the morning. They worked on it all day – found nothing. The made minor adjustments, and delivered it to her home, demonstrating turning on and off repeatedly to assure her it was in great condition.

However, she called shortly thereafter to say it had the same problem, and so they gave it the once over again, found nothing even to adjust, and so she drove it home. Next week . . .

“It still won’t start easily in the morning,” she said – “I have to keep cranking it.” Hmmm . . . so Art thought to himself they must be missing something – but what could it be? He got an idea – go over to her house in the early morning, and watch how she started her car. As soon as he saw how she tried to start it, the problem was immediately evident . . . and it was not mechanical with the car . . . it was the lady herself causing the trouble. Due to severe arthritis in her wrist, she used her whole body to turn the ignition, and leveraged herself by pushing down the gas pedal all the way to the floor, thereby flooding the engine – and most engines in those days would not cooperate with that scenario. Solution?

Pump the gas pedal once, place your foot on the brake, and . . . success! Congrats to Art – he placed himself in the situation, in nearly in her shoes – and discovered what needed to be done. You might say he was “on site, to obtain insight.”

And that brings me to the gospel – that Jesus came to earth in human form, that is to be “on site,” in order to “obtain insight.” “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:14 – 18.

Jesus has experienced all that we experience, especially in terms of our temptations and difficulties in this fallen world. Scripture says that after His resurrection, He is seated at His Father’s right hand, and interceding for us. That reminds me of Art Welling – he also sat next to that sweet older lady, and discovered what she needed to properly start her car. He was on site, obtained insight, and interceded for her.

Whatever you are experiencing now, even in regard to the uncertainty due to the virus, Jesus invites you to ask him to sit next to you, and show you how to live in this time. Instead of just cranking life without results, take Him up on His offer of salvation, and then of a lifelong relationship by His Spirit living inside you.

Yes – that means He will even help you start your “car” – that is your heart — in the morning!

Blessings to you all –

Pastor Jim

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