With the notable exception of computers, things technical, electrical or mechanical and I don’t mix…I say this so that none of you dead keen mechanical types feel you have to rush in and correct my all-too-obvious lack of mechanical knowledge in what follows…
I once owned a battered, white, diesel Ford Montego Estate. It had seen much better days, so when Wendy and I bought it my brother-in law (who is good with things technical etc) set about helping to make it as good as it could be.
One of the jobs he did was to flush out the diesel fuel pump. When all was clean, the pump had to be primed before it would pump the diesel into the cylinder and fire up the engine. In order to do this, a small lever, the ‘hand priming pump’ had to be pushed and pulled to suck up diesel into the pump.
My nephew, aged about 9 at the time, was given the task of pumping away for what seemed like an eternity.
Eventually he gave up…”You take over uncle Dave!”.
I took over…one more pump and…diesel in the pump.
In matters of faith and trusting God I am frequently tempted to give up one ‘pump’ short of an answer. The number of times I’ve taken pre-emptive action only to find that God’s solution was just around the corner, and heaps better than my solution are countless. Of course, it would help if my prophetic gift was as well developed as my panic gift, but I can’t use that as an excuse.
I guess I either have to believe that God cares what happens to me and the things that are of concern to me, or subscribe to some sort of “God-is-a-far-off-disinterested-observer-so-I’d- better-sort-things-out-myself” way of thinking.
Somehow, that doesn’t sound like faith, and it doesn’t square with my experiences of God on the occasions when I do wait long enough for God’s answer.
This matters very much to me at present as we face a major trust crisis about several aspects of life as we know it. I just hope I have the patience not to panic but go on pumping away until the diesel flows and the engine re-starts, if you know what I mean.