From the Pastor’s Desk, October 2017

Taken from the The Canton COB Chronicle Volume 2017, #7

A few days ago, I left the office around 11:00am, drove home, picked up Tammy, and went to CEFCU. We went inside, took care of our business, and then came back to the car to move on to a couple other errands. As normal, I inserted the key in the car’s ignition switch, turned it to start the car, and just as it sounded like the car would start, everything stopped. The lights on the dash went out. Turning the key to start produced absolutely no sound. And when I tried to turn the key to off and remove it, I could not do so. We all have many “firsts” in our lives; this was a “first” for me. I’ve experienced turning the key to start and nothing happens. But I’ve never been unable to remove the key from the ignition.

My first response was frustration. Then I began to self diagnose the problem, as mechanically astute as I am. NOT! But one of the first things I do in situations like this, that is when the car is “dead,” is determine if the battery terminals are corroded to
the point of losing contact with the battery cable. The way to find out is to remove the cables from the terminals, which takes tools. I carry a small socket set in the trunk of the car. The trunk releases on the dash and the key fob did not work and the only key we had was stuck in the ignition. Great! But wait, the rear seat back folds down giving access to the trunk. Yea! I was able to get the tools I needed to remove the battery cables.

Meanwhile, being uncertain my diagnosis would solve the problem, we called the repair shop to get their opinion. Our call was sent to voicemail. Great! So, I left a message for the repair shop to call me back. Tammy also called her mother to come pick us up in the event towing became the inevitable end.

With tools in hand I removed the battery cables, cleaned as best I could the terminals and cable connections, replaced the cables on the terminals, and still the car showed no signs of life. Sigh…

By this time Tammy’s mom was on the scene, which meant we had a ride if needed. And it was about this time that the repair shop called. I explained my dilemma to the repair shop and learned that, on our model of car, if the battery goes kaput the ignition can lock up, which explains why the stingy car WOULDN’T GIVE ME THE KEY! The repair shop suggested jumping the battery and if that failed towing might be the next step.

Thankfully, I carry jumper cables in the trunk of the car. I grab the cables (gaining entry to the trunk through the back seat, again), attach them to the battery in Tammy’s mom’s car and to the battery in my car, and, lo and behold, my dead car showed signs of life. Hallelujah! A resurrection (of sorts) right there in the CEFCU parking lot.

Sadly, the resurrection was short lived. After returning home, turning off the car and trying to start it again, the battery had truly given up the ghost. A few hours later, after replacing the battery, the car once again starts and is operable.

Okay, a long story (I thought the details would be fun to share) to make a quick point. When in need it may save time to step past self-diagnosis and move immediately in the direction of seeking assistance. In my story, the repair shop had a much better handle on the solution than I did. I may have saved some time by following their advice as opposed to  moving ahead with trying to fix the problem from my diagnos.

In which life situations do we struggle ahead on our own trying fixes that continue to leave us stranded, and then finally resort to asking others to find that consultation brings resurrection?

Ponder this wisdom from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. The moral of this story: Humble thyself and seek assistance.

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