Last Friday we traveled back from the US after a wonderful time with our family over Thanksgiving. Our car was at the airport in Nanaimo, but the final leg of our journey from Vancouver to Nanaimo was canceled due to the heavy snow that evening. WestJet had scheduled us on a flight for Sunday - two days later!! So we decided to embark upon a different plan to get home sooner a.k.a. the ferry to Duke Point. WestJet had intended keeping our luggage until Sunday, but Mike persuaded them otherwise, which meant that we had to walk from one end of the airport to the other, in order to retrieve all luggage.
We took a cab to the ferry port and rode the ferry across to Duke Point. By this time the snow was coming down heavily, and they announced on the overhead speakers as we docked to be careful on the roads out there, because the weather was very bad. We rode another cab to the airport which entailed a hair-raising journey as there was a lorry stuck on the road and all the cars were trying to get around him. Our taxi driver knew exactly what to do and pulled out. We were grateful for him and his speedy reactions but the car was sliding a lot. When we finally arrived at the airport we had to drag our heavy suitcases through the unplowed parking lot to the back row where our car was parked.
We loaded up the car, scraped as much snow from the windows as we could, and with fingers and toes numb from the cold, we set off gingerly and cautiously into the white night.
We soon noticed a warning on the dashboard of the car, saying maintenance required, and there was a picture of a wrench. In my already uneasy state of mind, I began to go to worst-case scenarios and imagined us stranded on the highway in the snow, engine seized up, freezing to death!
But then reality hit and my rational mind kicked in. Mike and I had taken the car in for an oil change before we left for our holiday so we were somewhat confused by the error warning. We soon realized that it wasn’t a valid error message and that all we needed to do was reset the maintenance button. It had already been taken care of! I was reminded of this scenario during Sunday morning prayer before the service.How often do we live our lives under the threat of “maintenance required!!" on ourselves, living in fear of painful outcomes. So often we forget that the Lord has already done the work and not only that, but that he has given us pure, clean Holy Spirit oil to help us not just to function, but to thrive no matter the weather, or our circumstances of life.
Let us not be misguided into believing the lie that it is all on us. Yes, the Lord wants us to grow and mature, but are we allowing ourselves to be loved by God, to be lubricated and empowered to live this new life with Him, and with others. In our own strength, we will break down eventually, but the wonderful good news is that when we align ourselves with the truth and reality of God‘s loving work on our behalf, we experience, Immanuel - God with us, one who is close – our refuge, our helper, our shepherd and our love. In this way we will be seeking the Giver and not just the gift.
This came up this morning again, as I was talking with friends. Sometimes we get into “automatic mode “, off track, back in our old, familiar ways without even thinking about it. We need to press “reset” to get back into alignment with the Spirit. When Mike did reset our car this new message is displayed and every time I get in my car now I look at it and I smile “Oil life 100%.”
Love and Blessings,