Several years ago, I owned a little Ford Ranger. It was a good little truck and I had it several years and drove it a bunch of miles. I had a mishap and had to replace an engine. It was com plet e ly avoidable if I had only taken a little extra time to check out some minor things.
I was changing the oil and filter on all our vehicles (3 of them) and did not pay attention to the fact that the oil filter I took off did not have the rubber O-ring with it. I put the new filter on and had, now, 2 O-rings. This caused the engine to lose all oil and lock up (ruined).
But it was not the haste and hurry that ruined the motor. It certainly would not have hurt anything to slow down, but if you know me…well enough said there. Several old adages have come to mind since then, “haste makes waste,” “never time to do it right the first time but always time to do it again,” and “a job worth doing is a job worth doing well” just to name a few.
When you add into the equation the fact of not paying attention to detail, it brings the adventure to a total disaster and a very costly one at that.
Missing the rubber O-ring on the filter could be understandable and get a pass. However, not looking for oil leaks after the truck was started and let run for 5 minutes or not noticing the puddle of oil in the middle of the driveway and the trail of oil from the driveway across the lawn to the tree to park while I serviced the next vehicle is an admittedly huge oversight.
There is one other thing that occurred that signified trouble, big trouble that I failed to heed. Its warning could have saved the engine (and my dignity). It was the check engine light and noticing the falling oil pressure gauge.
When the oil pressure dropped due to lack of oil, the check engine light comes on followed by a chime. This is indicative of major engine trouble and requires IMMEDIATE attention (stop vehicle, shut off motor, check for problem, ‘cause what you are doing is not right)! Do not go 2 more miles and hope for the best.
I was truly at a crossroad… stop and check engine and diagnose/fix problem or continue on and hope. I obviously made wrong choice.
In all of this, the most hurtful part was that I knew to stop the truck and turn off the engine. It is what I was taught by my dad and told by countless others. As a matter of fact, I have told all my kids and many others too! With everything that happens in our lives, I believe there is a spiritual lesson. This one is no exception.
Vehicles are equipped with light and gauges (oil, gas, water temp and electrical) to help us know the performance of our vehicle. If there is a problem, the gauge or light will indicate it. We simply monitor the gauges/lights to know what is going on. When we see a light flash, a gauge drop or hear the bell or chime sound, we respond accordingly (or should anyway).
God has equipped us, humans, Christians, the same. We have bells, lights and gauges too!
For instance, think about your conscience. Do something wrong, say the wrong words, look at the pictures, listen to the story, joke or song, tell a lie or watch the movie…that light flashes, bell chimes or gauge craters. You know what you are doing is not right.
God also puts people in our lives to help keep us on track, living the Christian lives. You know, the friend who will tell you the truth to remind you that your walk and talk are not lining up, you are making a bad choice, you are going the wrong direction… bell goes off, light starts flashing, gauge craters.
Most of all, God’s Word can alarm us to potential trouble and possible destruction. Look at the 10 commandments. The “Thou shall nots” are pretty clear. Paul’s letters could be written to us today in regards to our Christian conduct. Jesus’ words in the Gospels are also notable and packed with directions for living Godly lives.
God has placed these devices to help us live a life pleasing to him and run most efficiently and problem free. Just check the dashboard and make sure no lights are on or gauges cratered!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Bro. Tim