All Charged Up
After several years of restoration work our ‘69 Volkswagen Bug was ready to fire up. We charged the battery, which had been removed at the beginning of the project, and prepared to re-install it. My two sons were excited about the prospects of hearing the engine roar after so many hours of work. My youngest boy was anxious to start the car but he was also curious about the purpose of the battery and, after several questions, I realized he thought the battery made the motor run. I explained to him that the function of the battery was to start the car. We opened the engine compartment and I showed him the generator.
“The battery powers the starter, which makes the motor turn. As the spark plugs begin to fire and the gasoline explodes in each cylinder the motor begins to run. Once the motor is running, the starter disengages.” He was nodding his head, but I wasn’t sure he understood. “The fan belt loops around the generator making it spin along with the motor. The generator generates enough electricity to operate the spark plugs, lights, radio and all the other electrical components in the car. It even provides enough electricity to recharge the battery.” He kept nodding. “Does that make sense to you, son?”
“I think so,” he said, “The battery just gets things going, but the real power comes from the motor.”
As usual, his 12 year old mind had summed up in one sentence what I had been trying to illustrate for more than ten minutes.
It occurred to me that in our lives as Christians, there are times when we get charged up by things that seem to empower us. Perhaps a new sermon series on practicing spiritual disciplines has got you motivated. A new book that claims to scientifically prove the existence of God might excite you. Maybe the praise and worship music at the last church service you attended brought you to your feet. All of these things are great to get us fired up about faith, but none of them deliver unless our faith is genuine to begin with. The true power of our faith comes from God himself, nothing else. If we allow ourselves to rely on anything less, it’s just a matter of time before our batteries die. Fortunately for us there is an unending source of power to keep us charged up. All we have to do is ensure that we stay connected.
Instructions from the Manual:
It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.
A Mechanic's Prayer:
Lord, forgive me when I am distracted. Help me to abide in you and to remember that you are the heart of my worship. My desire is to know you and to serve you. Continue to use things like music and the talents of other people to motivate me and recharge my faith, but give me strength and wisdom to never let these things become the focus of my worship.
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