This is Mighty Mouse. If we are friends or you have stumbled across my musings before, you know that this car has taught me much and has been full of surprises. You also know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Today, Mighty went to the doctor’s for a check up. I parked him out my uncle’s and raided his shop. At the end of the day, my car was equipped with two new headlights, a new radiator mounting, a strap to hold down the battery, fresh fluids, air in the tires, and a treatment for a crack in the windshield (hence the injection in the picture). While we had his hood up, we also discovered another surprise, one that further proves that this car is a perpetual object lesson in my life.
Driving back to PA, I discovered that my A/C was malfunctioning. I generally leave the A/C off and the windows down, but on this particular day, it was hot, humid, and thunderstorm central. Knowing that the guy who sold me the car demonstrated the A/C for my uncles, I just assumed I needed a can of A/C coolant or something. As the hood is propped and we are searching for the compressor, my uncle and I had the hard realization that there was no compressor. The wiring for the A/C is there, the tubing is there, the mount is there, but the compressor is not. Explains why my car only blows war air from outside.Apparently my car has no A/C unit, just controls and the potential for one.
Lesson learned: things are not always as they appear. We were told the car had A/C, the car looks like it has A/C, it even has the wiring and set up for A/C… however it is lacking A/C. As I was wondering how it was possible that myself and the four people I had look at the car had missed this, I realized that Mighty Mouse is not the first in my life to fool me this way. People do the same thing.
Here is my hypothetical friend Christian. All his friends and family say he knows Jesus, follows Jesus, and carries with him the Holy Spirit. They even give examples demonstrating how Christian allows the Holy Spirit to work in his life. Christian looks like he knows Jesus, follows Jesus, and allows the Holy Spirit to work in his life. He has the right controls, the visible buttons of the Bible and church attendance, and even on occasion blows some refreshing air when he shows compassion towards someone or shares insight on scripture. Yup, Christian appears to have the JC. Until something tests him, and then he comes up way short and doesn’t seem to function as a JC unit. Perhaps he just is having a bad day or needs some refueling? Then, someone who loves him and wants to see him functioning takes the time and searches a little deeper… and begins looking for possible adjustments. Soon, they discover Christian is lacking the JC, even though he has all the wiring, the tubing, and the mounting bracket. Despite appearing to sport JC and having the potential to do so, Christian is incapable of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in his life because he is lacking essential elements of faith. However, the missing element of the Gospel could easily fill that gap and if it does, Christian can do exactly what he is wired and purposed to do: know Jesus, follow Jesus, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in him.
Long drawn out, corny, analogy to say this. Things are not always as they appear. Just because we see someone that appears right with God, does not mean that they are. Just because everyone thinks someone is okay, does not mean that they feel like something is missing in their lives. I am not saying that we should judge people; just as I do not go around popping the hoods of everyone’s cars looking for defects. However, if we notice a perpetual problem in someone’ life, perhaps it is rooted in heir perception of God. How often do you want to grab someone, shake them: “You are Christian, you know Jesus, why are you acting this way? Why aren’t you functioning like that is true?” How can we expect someone to live a Gospel centered life in a functional way if they are lacking the functional understanding of the Gospel and a personal connection with Jesus? Better questions may be: Do they know God? Is that part of their lives missing? Is the wiring messed up due to bad theology? Is there a deeper problem that is preventing them from functioning that we miss at the surface level? How often do we attempt to make adjustments in our lives or the lives of others without looking to see if the necessary foundation and equipment are there in the first place?