My first car, a blue 1955 Ford, came fully equipped with an engine, a 3-speed-on-the-column, an AM radio and air conditioning (when you rolled the windows down). I think of it today because it also came equipped with a steering wheel about half the size of one of the rings in a 3-ring circus. That was the closest it got to “power” steering.
I grew up watching my dad relax while he drove our family down the highway for vacation. He would get his seat in a comfortable position so that he could rest his wrist in his lap while he gently held the steering wheel from there. Dad was a very good driver and knew how to be cautious, but he also knew that long road trips were even more tiring if he was white-knuckling the steering wheel. The super-sized steering wheel in my 1955 Ford allowed me to do the same…if the road was straight and I didn’t have to suddenly change directions.
Some time after I graduated from my ’55, I learned a critical lesson: cars with power steering can be almost impossible to steer without it. One car we bought had a chronic power steering leak. I would fill the reservoir and drive a few miles, fluid literally pouring out along the way. That particular model made it hard — and expensive — to replace the power steering pump and it was cheaper to keep buying lubrication than to fix the problem. (I’m pretty sure the City of Phoenix was able to save some big bucks that year because I was chip-sealing the streets for them, but that’s another story.) The moment the power steering fluid would get too low, the steering would almost not move. It can be scary trying to dodge through city traffic without the ability to turn.
I’m talking about this subject because we, like cars, are designed to operate a certain way. Our Designer intended us to journey through life effectively. If we were a car, we would notice that God intended us to be fully equipped to do all the things we were designed to do. Our problem is that we are products of a very broken world. Not only do we all have a past that includes some hurts, some hangups and some habits, but we often keep trying to make the trip down life’s highway with critical parts broken. For instance, if God intends us to see in this dark world (He does), we discover than our headlights won't work. If He wants us to stop short of some of the pot-holes that threaten to shake our lives apart (again, He does), we discover that our brakes are out.
The tragedy for many who have decided to follow Jesus, is that they keep adding fluid to a broken part of them and limping a little further along. Or they intuitively know that their lives are not working as they should, so they just work harder and end up on the side of life's road, exhausted.
You and I need to explore some of the ways we try to fix the brokenness in our lives by doing it on our own. Then we need to find out what wonderful equipment God has designed for us and how to appropriate it. That’s where we begin this week at Stone Ridge Church with a message called “From Hurts to Healing.” It’s part of a new series we’re calling “Spring Cleaning.” Hope you can join us! If not, catch the podcast!