Oct 4, 2017

Crowding God Out ~ St. Mark

My Goldwing has taken up much of my garage space for about 8 years now.  A few days ago, I took it apart again this summer for some regular maintenance.  It seemed to be running fine, but ever since purchasing it I decided to keep on top of all the maintenance myself as time permits and gradually go through the bike and continually maintain/upgrade it as time permits me.  But time doesn't always permit me.

While I was forming my afternoon plan of my "maintenance-attack" and doing some research, I found a "hack" solution to upgrade my bike's sound system to enable a synch-up with my Android phone (and thus it's playlist of tunes and off-line Google nav-maps).  My six-cylinder Goldwing was manufactured in 1990 and with the big boxer-type engine, the bike is a sweet-ride.  However, it's near 30 year old (1990) radio/entertainment-system technology in many ways seems ancient (Does anybody even remember cassette-tape players?).  The hack was to simply solder three wires to the pre-amp in the radio's motherboard, to attach an AUX input via a 3.5mm plug, which then attaches to my phone.  That worked fine and I was pleased with this inexpensive hack.

Because of Honda's design, getting inside my Goldwing often requires me to remove many different panels and a variety of plastic and metal fasteners to address the item I want to work on.  As I was aware that the air filter was hidden in a compartment just below the radio, I decided since I had gone to the trouble of removing all these panels, I would also go a level deeper and change the hard-to-access air filter while I was working nearby.  All good stuff for a backyard mechanic like me.

By the time my disassembly was done, there were motorcycle parts all over the garage and as well the kitchen table was full of radio parts, soldering irons, diagrams and associated tools.  However, my surprise came when I opened up the air filter compartment. I was amazed to see ... a pile of rice!  It seems a mouse had found the intake opening into the bike and planned to use it for his winter food-lot storage!

Despite it's nearly 30 years old age my bike looked shiny on the outside, but below the surface, there was things going on in there that shouldn't be happening.  Because of being too busy, I had literally allowed things to creep into the heart of my bike, while the bike continued to just chug-along, but gradually losing it's volumetric-breathing efficiency (it was "choking").

When I think about it, it's much the same as the question of our sin-tolerance.  The world, the flesh and the devil crowd out the things of God; our passion, our service ....our efficiency for Christ through us allowing sin into our lives and making poor decisions in our christian life and testimony.  When I leave my bible on the shelf for longer than I should, my spirit is immediately affected and I am spiritually choked and more sin-prone.  When I am in regular bible study and prayer, my spirit comes alive and I find complete freedom and peace and worship comes easy. 

I was designed to be a worshiper!

This summer I pulled my pickup truck into my driveway and walked towards the house.  When I returned to my truck a bit later, I noticed that I had some fluid leaking out from underneath.  Further investigating found that I had "lost" all the fluid out of my apparently rotten power steering lines.  

The easy part was taking the truck in for repair; the harder part was to clean up the mess in my driveway.  I'd never ever before contemplated what power steering fluid actually was!  ...and well at first I didn't realize how difficult the cleanup would be, especially as it soon had penetrated and mixed in with the asphalt in a gooey mess.  I got the garden hose out, but the fluid stains wouldn't budge.  I increased my game to include my pressure-washer.  Nope!  Next I loaded the pressure water with some powerful liquid soap.  Nope! I brought out a pail of hot soapy water and a scrub brush!  - Nope!   Maybe it will be soluble in some gasoline?  -Nope.  It seemed that no matter what I thought of, that big stain remained;  it was big, black, ugly and in the middle of my driveway.  I really thought I had it beat when I dauntless said "yes" to the off-street-vendor, who made his summer rounds to make college money by coating driveways with asphalt sealer.  Nope ....despite the $100 that I paid him, the power steering fluid leached back through the coated asphalt in just several weeks.  By this time, I really hated that stain, but the analogies weren't lost on me! 

The only thing I can do with that stain is struggle with it and get rid of it!

You've probably figured where I'm going with these observations I made in my garage and driveway this summer.  Sin is ominous, ugly, black and habit forming.  It slowly starts to choke you, it is taxing and will overwhelm you and possibly even take your life!  It's effect on your vitality isn't to be trivialized.  You have to struggle with it; ...and take action against your sin, and get it out of your life!  

In his old hymn, Robert Lowry raised the rhetorical question, "What can wash away my sin?"  The clear and resounding answer was,  

"Nothing, But the Blood of Jesus!"  ...and that's very good theology!

Charles Tindley wrote in 1905. "Nothing Between".   ...and that's a great way to live and to prevent sin in the first place!

  1. Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
    Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
    I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
    Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.
    • Refrain:
      Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
      So that His blessed face may be seen;
      Nothing preventing the least of His favor;
      Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
  2. Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
    Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
    Must not my heart from Him ever sever;
    He is my all, there’s nothing between.
  3. Nothing between, like pride or station;
    Self or friends shall not intervene;
    Though it may cost me much tribulation,
    I am resolved, there’s nothing between.
  4. Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
    Though the whole world against me convene;
    Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
    I’ll triumph at last, there’s nothing between.

~ St Mark

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