Friday, April 15, 2011

Tim The Tool Man And A Blown Fuse

Growing up I loved to take things apart. Electronic equipment was my favorite. I took radios apart, computers apart, televisions apart, and anything else that peeked my interest. I have to admit, I was great at taking things apart. However, I wasn't quite as good at putting things back together. Now, that wouldn't be a bad thing if we were talking about items that were broken, but most of the time the things I took apart had nothing wrong with them. I was just curious as to what made them work and with screw driver in hand my adventures of discovery would begin.

Through the years, my curiosity hasn't changed much. Although, I don't often take things apart that are in working order, when something breaks, I always think I can fix it. This week our washing machine went out. Now, I don't know the first thing about washing machines except that they wash clothes. Yet, when my wife told me how much it was going to cost to have a repair man out, I quickly grabbed my tools and went to work.

Something on the inside of me said it was a fuse. So, the first think I checked was the wall outlet thinking perhaps a breaker had been thrown for some reason. The outlet turned out to be fine and there again was this voice saying its a fuse. I proceeded to open up the washing machine's control panel and the very first thing I saw was a fuse. I popped it out and sure enough it had been blown. After replacing the fuse, I plugged in the washer and once again the fuse is blown. Using my "google" tool, which by the way should be a part of every tool box, I googled "Maytag" and "blown fuse" and quickly found how to fix the problem.

I told my wife I knew how to fix it and only needed to find a new part. When I got on the phone with the repair man to see if I could buy a part from him, he was convinced I didn't know what I was doing. He first told me that washing machines don't have fuses. I thought to myself, I've opened enough electronic devices in my day to know what a fuse is. I explained to him that I had purchased some new fuses at Home Depot and each time I replaced them they blew out. After a bit of an awkward pause, he asked me what kind of washing machine I had, because Maytag's have fuses. Still convinced I would not be able to fix the machine, he told me to give him a call when I needed him.

I was able to pick up the part, and actually put the machine back together without any problem. Total cost? Under $20.00! After hearing what a repair man was going to cost, my wife opted to check out Craigslist to see if she could find any good deals on a working washing machine. And after it was all said and done we fixed it for less than it would cost for us to go out to eat. Now, if I was a regular fix-it man I would think nothing of this whole process. But, I'm not. And the fact that my initial thought was that it was a fuse is really a bit bazaar to be completely honest. I had no idea that most washing machines do not have fuses but Maytag's do. Yet, over and over this thought kept coming to me that it was a fuse.

I can't help but think that voice wasn't self-initiated. Afterall, when told the washing machine was out, my own voice said, "Call a repair man, I don't know anything about washing machines." Scripture tells us that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, will teach us all things and guide us into all truth. Perhaps you think I'm stretching it a bit, but I think He can speak to us about anything including household appliances. The truth was, my washing machine had thrown a fuse and simply finding out why it was throwing the fuse led to an easy fix. I'm thinking the Holy Spirit, who knows all things, knew that and passing that info along to me was one of the things He was sent to do.

I really believe we can get way too "religious" in our approach to God and how we walk out our Christian journey. It's not meant to be some kooky, weird, spiritual encounter that has no practical application here in our real world. God longs to walk in relationship with us. This time of year is all about the price He was willing to pay in order to have that relationship with us. He longs to walk the journey with us, involved in every aspect of our lives. He's not on some distant planet waiting for us to get there some day. He wants so desperately to have an ongoing dialog with us in which we can hear His voice whenever we choose to listen.

Maybe, you're reading this and think I'm making way too much out of a blown fuse. Perhaps, your mindset is, "why in the world would the Creator of the Universe care about some lousy blown fuse?" If that's your perspective of Him, then I would love to invite you to get to know Him more. The truth is, He doesn't care about the blown fuse, He cares about me. He cares about walking through life with me and He is mindful about every single thing that concerns me. So, while He is still the Creator of the Universe, He has plenty of time to walk this journey with me.

Don't put God in a religious box. While He will reveal Spiritual truths to you and show you the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, He will also help you navigate through your daily life. Maybe its not a broken washing machine, but a broken heart or a broken relationship. Trust me, He's the kind of friend that is closer than a brother and He'll speak to you if you're truly listening.

What I hear right now is the washing machine finishing up a cycle. Time to change the laundry!

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