Friday, May 1, 2009

Pressure Point

My mini-van astonished the mechanic. Actually, only one of the tires did, but I'm sure my vehicle was playing another of its famous jokes on him. It's sneaky that way.

Think I'm crazy? Why then will the overdrive light come on randomly when I have never touched the switch? How come the fuse cover on the driver's side will act like it has snapped back into place and then pop off for no reason? Why does the CD player act like my disc is scratched when it's really blemish free? I tell you, my car has a naughty streak.

The prank my Mazda pulled on the mechanic went like this. I mentioned that my right, front tire had only about 30 pounds of pressure according to the gauge I had used and refused to take more. The tires are rated at 32 PSI, and since my other tires were a bit higher than that he lowered them down before moving to the last one. He also noted that for some reason they all tended to look a little low even with the recommended amount. When he went to put air in the right, front one, though, he jumped back. The tire already had at least 50 PSI of air pressure in it! With that much pressure on a tire with a much lower rating I'm thankful it didn't blow in all my traveling.

Of course, I don't really believe my mini-van has a mischievous nature. Like all mechanical objects it just has a few quirks. But I do think the incident with the tire has a spiritual application.

Our daily lives are full of stressful situations that tend to build up within us an internal pressure. Sometimes we are aware of the strain and find a way to "let off steam" as the saying goes. Yet many of us, myself included, get so wrapped up in our ministries or careers that we are clueless of how high the pressure level inside us is getting. On the outside we might seem normal, and in some cases a bit low or even lethargic, until the right button is accidentally pushed. Suddenly, we blow, and often the victims of the blast are our family, friends, or co-workers.

So what's the solution? What I've discovered is that when I find myself too busy to spend time with God that that is a pretty accurate gauge that I'm carrying around too much pressure. Spending time in Bible study, meditation on His ways and truths, and prayer on a daily basis tends to reduce that pressure to acceptable levels. Am I completely stress and strain free? Hardly. But maintaining my quiet time with God helps keep a balance and provides the perspective I need to not allow internal pressures to rise too high.

Is my mini-van really out to get me? No, but the stresses of the world will unless I turn them over to God daily and let Him balance me out.



Kathleen said...

What a great illustration...thanks!

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