2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)
Here I was, on a cold, wet, cloudy day in late January, noticing that a headlight on my car was dead. I wished that I had bothered to replace this headlight at the same time as I had done the other one when the weather was more agreeable: when it was brighter, warmer, and drier — last autumn. I had put the spare unused in the back of the car ready for this occurrence.
There were some accessibility issues. The nearside headlight array has about three inches of clearance between the fuse box and the back of the light cluster, hence why I had left it unchanged. Eventually, I swapped over the headlight bulb, and all was done. Then, I sat in the car to switch on the headlights. Woe was me! The headlight did not go on.
"What a Muppet!" I said to myself. This colloquial English expression is used as a disparaging term for someone who is not focused, careless, or ham-fisted at a task.
It dawned on me that I had put the original blown bulb back into the socket, leaving the new one sitting in its safe place so that the two would not get mixed up. Oh, my goodness! I faced up to the reality that my heart was not really in this process, and I was going to have to do the whole fiddly procedure again, only this time without mistakes — and it was getting colder.
I repeated the process and turned on the ignition to see that the headlight worked. Hooray! Then to my dismay, the faulty light sensor on the dashboard went on again. Oh no! So off I went to investigate, with my own personal cloud to accompany me. It transpired that I had knocked the side lamp connector in the tight space, and it was no longer connected properly. Eventually, the job was done — but it was now too late to do the errand that I had originally intended to do in the car. I went inside to get warm.
I had made a mistake. It happens when one gets older, but the real problem was not with my mind or hands. It was that my heart was just not in the job. I knew that it was going to be tricky and awkward, wet and cold. I was annoyed that I should have to do it now, but it still needed to be done. Humph!
Worse, I knew that I should have prayed before I started! Oops. The idea, I really could do without this, was in the forefront of my mind — not the task, but rather poor old me. I had neglected my normal practice, to ask God into what I was doing, because my mind was focused on planned shopping tasks.
Today, if you find yourself in a similar manner — out there in the cold, losing heart, feeling sorry for yourself — see where God is in the situation, in the doing. Take a deep breath, and in prayer, ask Jesus in, together with the Holy Spirit. Just maybe it will go better, and we can be the bright lights that we are intended to be.
Prayer: Lord, doing the things of life can make us mean when things seem to be unbidden and unwanted. Please forgive us when we do not ask You in, and change our focus to be on You with us in the doing. Prompt us when You want to be involved in our everyday tasks, small or large. Thank You for not being short-sighted, huffy, standoffish, or resentful when we forget, but rather welcoming us when we ask. We rejoice and give You praise for Your love for us, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Come Let Us To The Lord Our God" (Lyrics)