Pumpkin spice latte (with almond milk) in hand, fireplace glowing in front of me…surrounded by strangers and cars. I am waiting for the oil change at the dealership to be completed and it has got me thinking about basic maintenance for us humans. What would be the equivalent of an oil change for us? Tire rotation? Winter maintenance package? Tune up? Major engine service?
My spouse is diligent about making sure his truck gets in at every scheduled maintenance time, following the manufacturers guidelines for optimal truck health. What about our scheduled maintenance?
What I am Trusting
Some days it seems like this human condition of ours doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. There are times when the right answer or the next step seems so unclear we are trapped in inaction. (of course, there are other days when the next step is lit up like a runway and hallelujah for those!)
Some might suggest that the Bible is that owner’s manual. Maybe. I know that it is a collected works of thousands of years worth of wisdom of our human wrestling with God and one another. And I think that what is written about Jesus reveals to us God’s highest ideal for humanity, and that the more we learn about the person and work of Jesus and the more we strive to be like he was, the better things are going to be. So, what do we know about Jesus? We know that he prayed. A lot. That he ate meals with spiritual friends and broken strangers. We know that he took time by himself. We know that he went to church (synagogue), laughed at parties, and lived a life of service to others, even to his own detriment. This actually does seem like an owner’s manual in human version.
Perhaps today I trust that the path Jesus laid out for us to follow leads us to the fullness of life, both in rest and in service, in prayer and action.
What I am Grateful For
The people in my life that remind me about my need for maintenance when I can’t see it for myself. The friends and family who are willing to risk telling me that my radiator is leaking, or a rust spot is developing. Because it shows; our spiritual dents are evident to those closest to us often far before we notice them. It is risky to tell someone that they are in need of a repair or at least a service of some kind. And I know that I do not always take it well in the moment, but I am so very grateful for it afterwards.
I am a slow learner, and slowly I am learning the amount of rest and prayer time that my body/soul requires. Learning that it is not selfish but rather honours the God that created me this way.
What Inspires Me
Despite existing in a culture that demands productivity, I am inspired by all the little rebellions that press against that dominant voice in the form of dining with friends. Sharing a meal – whether it is an hours-long, slow-cooked, meticulous work of culinary craftsmanship or a mish-mash of leftovers – around a table is deliciously revolutionary. There is no measurable outcome, no goal attained, no step achieved. And yet so much is accomplished. These mini uprisings happen all over the country, forks raised in slow and meaningful transformation. We know that this is vital to our humanity, even if we cannot speak those words. And we have known it for millennia. Something, something – mystical, mysterious, magical…holy – happens when we come together, laugh, and share over food. Fluid top up and tire rotation?
How I am Practicing My Faith
Perhaps this is evident given the rest of this post, but I am taking my-self to the proverbial shop today. A walk in the storm, hot tea and a show on Netflix, a yoga class, and finishing off that plum jam on the stovetop. The morning began with prayer and Scripture study (as it does each morning), and the conversation with God will continue throughout the day. I will get my tune-up and will therefore run more smoothly as a result.