Monday, February 2, 2015

Fully Equipped

My very first car, a 1955 Ford, was a jewel my dad found.  Dad was a mechanic and often the Service Manager at the local Ford dealer.  It was 1968 and dad knew the lady who had bought it when it was new.  He had overseen all the maintenance on it.  It was the proverbial “little old lady who only drove it to the store and to church” car.  I think it had something less than 50,000 miles on it at thirteen years old.  Dad bought it for me at the whopping purchase price of $150.

(Before I go on with my story, I need to stop and tell my antique car-building friends to quit drooling!)

That 1955 Ford was a classic.  It came well-equipped with an AM radio, a heater and a motor.  The standard transmission was a three-speed on the column.  The steering?  Well, let me tell you about the “power” steering…I powered it!  At the time, I thought nothing of it, but that steering wheel was HUGE!  The large size helped provide leverage to turn those front wheels.

I want to talk about the steering for a minute.  Early on, I just figured that I would never need mechanically-assisted power steering.  My parents had it in their new car at the time, but it didn’t make driving their car that much easier than driving my old 1955.  It’s only a slight exaggeration when I tell you that I just figured the over-sized steering wheel and MY SUPERIOR MALE STRENGTH made power steering unnecessary…

…until I found out just how wrong I was!  A few years later, our young family was in need of a car.  Our budget was low…we were trying to squeeze a dollar out of every dime…and I jumped at the chance when my friend John found a great deal on a used Mercury.  We bought that car, brought it home and marveled at how much we had saved.  Until we discovered a severe power steering fluid leak.  Did I say the leak was severe?  We could fill up the power steering reservoir and still hear the whine of low fluid after driving just a few miles.  I’m pretty sure we chip-sealed several miles of Phoenix streets with our power steering fluid!

The worst part was when the whine in the power steering unit was replaced by complete loss of power.  Turning that car became so hard that I could have cancelled my gym membership (if I had one) because of my workout while driving.  I’m pretty sure it is easier to turn a Sherman tank than it was to turn that steering wheel!

As you can probably guess, this post isn’t really about power steering.  It’s about the futility of trying to accomplish anything without the needed power.  Sure, we could barely turn corners by exerting significant, sweat-producing force on that Mercury steering wheel, but it was nearly impossible to turn.  And it was dangerous.  Why?  Because that car wasn’t designed to drive without power steering!

As you and I steer our lives toward reconciliation, we weren’t designed to do so without a power assist.  It’s futile to try living with deep, lasting relationships and a relational “Clean Slate” without the Power.  Don’t worry; if you follow Jesus, relational power steering is part of your factory equipment.  This weekend, we will talk about how to stay powered up.  Can’t wait to share it with you at Stone Ridge Church.  Can’t join us?  Catch the podcast!

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