clutch fluid

A dear friend recently had some trouble with his clutch fluid and it reminded me of an old Jeep I used to drive.

1985 CJ-7.  Not the best year or motor for Jeeps.  Mine had a leaky clutch fluid bowl.

For those of you fortunate enough to be unaware of this issue, here is the symptom:  The clutch stops working.

How to compensate:  Learn how to start vehicle while it is in gear.  Learn how to go the correct speed so as to avoid stopping at stop lights (because the constant starting in gear will seriously hurt your engine).  Learn to “slide” the vehicle from one gear to another without using the clutch at all (it is best to do this smoothly while you are on a date so you look like a hero instead of a tool).

All of this works really well UNTIL it doesn’t work.

(Ask my friend Scott Oldenburg about how much fun it is to be stuck in Corpus Christi.) (Ha, then ask him about that bet we made…)

You see the clutch is the coordinator, the mediator, between the engine and the drive shaft.  When the two don’t talk, bad things happen.  In the case of an ’85 Jeep, EVERYTHING seems to break at the same time.

The Jeep I drive today has a clutch that works all the time.  So the “drive” can always talk to the “power”.

I still have the ability, but how silly would I be if I never used the clutch?

God is certainly the power in my life.

My heart provides the drive.

Jesus is and always has been the Mediator.

Feel free to fill in the blanks…


The Aspen Street Inn of the Soul

You know people are mad.

We have this quaint little Inn in our town. The Aspen Street Inn. I’m not sure if it has a new owner or if the owner is simply ready for a change, but this week they tore it down.

Right now, the Aspen Street Inn is a pile of wood and cement behind a green construction fence.

And the people walk by and stop and stare and scowl a little and mumble… “This is a town treasure…” “Progress sucks…” “So much for taking care of our town…” “Tree Cooper is the only thing good about our town anymore…” (They may not actually be grumbling that last thing.)

I agree with most of their complaints. I like the historic feel of our town. I like the familiar sight of one of the best breakfast places in town. I would not be offended if things never changed.

My perspective on what is good for the look of this town is deadly when applied to my soul.

I cannot deny that I have grumbled when God begins to tear down some of the icons in my soul. None of us like the “under construction” sign hanging on our hearts.

So where does God stand on tearing down the old and familiar and building the new?

I read Hebrews 8 this morning.

Hebrews 8:7 – “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one.”
Hebrews 8:13 – “By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.”

So how do I deal with the Aspen Street Inn of the soul? What is my reaction to the new in my life; The new planted and watered and grown by God?

Today I want to let go of the pride in the existence of the old things that God is removing from me so He can do something new.

My prayer: Lord, tell me where to put this construction fence.

He didn’t tell me.

Sometimes I save my 2-year-old’s life.

The other day, for instance, he tried to eat a quarter. I stopped him… forcefully… I actually had to rip it out of his mouth.

Well he was pretty mad and started crying and then uttered the toddler equivalent of, “I’m never talking to you again! Why do you hate me???” So I did what I always do because I’m calm and in charge. I started to logic him to death.

Here’s the deal: Two-year-olds get frustrated when logic is the weapon of choice. Also: Parents get frustrated when two-year-olds ignore doctrinally sound, and well-thought-out logic bombs.

I wonder how many times God has saved my life only to have me respond with an angry tirade because it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen.

God does not waste time logic-bombing me to death. (Apparently God is a much better Father than I am.) I often struggle with that because I want to know EVERYTHING that God is thinking.

But lately I have enjoyed the idea of mystery. Do you know what mystery is? It is the trust that God is allowed to know something that I do not know. It is this amazing comfort in the fact that I am not going to be God-logic-ed to death – and at the same time, God is going to keep saving my life.

Here is a random example: Romans 11:26. Paul says all Israel will be saved. I do not know why. I do not know how. I do not know… So my faith grows.

Enjoy mystery.

Amazed at the distance

I went to the big city the other day.  It is about an hour away from my house.

When I got there, I ran into some friends of mine from Telluride.  I asked them what they were doing, and they said that they had been following this waitress.  She used to work about 40 minutes from them, then she worked 50 minutes from them, now she works 70 minutes from them.  They go to this little restaurant twice a week (at least) because of this waitress.

It amazed me how far we will go to get service that we enjoy.

God’s love is like that.  I would travel for hours to see God’s love.  But I wonder how many people would travel that far to hear me talk about God’s love.

It makes me think about the disconnect between the love of Jesus and the way I tell of His love.

What can I do to diminish that disconnect?