Check Your Engine Light

My engine light came on.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?!  It doesn’t tell you why it’s on, it just tells you there’s a problem.  Is it a big expensive problem, or a minor service issue?  You don’t know.

When my light came on I didn’t pay much attention to it because my “service due” message had been on for a couple of weeks.  My cynical self thinks it’s simply the manufacturers attempt to get me to go into the dealership and pay an exorbitant sum for them to scope out my car and tell me everything is ok.

I saw the engine light as the manufacturer ramping up the intensity of the message for me to take it in.  So, I ended up taking my car into my trusted mechanic, not the dealer, who scoped it all out and found no issues.  He determined the light was simply a reminder to change the oil – which I had done already – so he reset the light, checked out my brakes, charged me $79 and sent me on my way.

Perfect.  I was a happy camper.

Anne and I went on a driving holiday to the Sunshine Coast and the car worked perfectly.  No issues.

Then, when I got home the light came on again.  I quickly took it in for them to scope it out again.  Something about my turbo charger didn’t reach the required pressure level.  They reset the light and told me to bring it in if it goes on again.  It could mean nothing, or not, but they will have to do more tests to figure out what the issue is – if there really is one at all.

So here’s what I learned going through all this:  I was more concerned about getting rid of the engine light, than I was about fixing the issue.  To be honest, inside I was thinking,

“Just make it go away.  I don’t want to have to fix anything significant.”

And when I got back in my car and the light was off, I was strangely comforted by that.  Nothing had changed on the inside of my engine, the warning light was just gone, and I felt better.

I realize that I can approach life this way.  I want to get rid of whatever is making me uncomfortable instead of going deeper to uncover an issue that really needs to be addressed.

My dash light went on to tell me something needs to be addressed in my engine.  It didn’t come on to tell me to turn off the dash light.

Likewise, when something makes us very angry, for example, that’s a heart dash light telling us there’s something deeper going on.  Our reaction in that situation should not be to simply get rid of the anger, but to understand what’s going on inside us that’s causing the anger.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that anger is necessarily sin.  Scripture tells us that God gets angry.  In fact, I have heard it said that we can tell something about our love for God by the things that make us angry.  Should we be angry with injustice and sin?  Yes.

However, anger we often feel is not righteous indignation, but our selfish reaction to not getting what we want.  Someone once said, “A man is only as big as the things that make him angry.”  So, when we feel the heart dash light of anger, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to understand what’s going on in our hearts.

Is your reaction disproportionate to the stimuli?  If “yes”, then check what’s going on under your hood.  Ask the Master Mechanic to do the work needed to adjust your heart so you’re running well.  Sometimes we need some major work, and other times we need a little adjustment.

It’s not prudent to ignore your heart “engine” light.  What are you feeling?  It could be revealing stress, resentment, unforgiveness, unhealed wounds, agreements with lies, inappropriate beliefs, selfishness, self-centeredness, fatigue, a lack of gratitude, etc.  You need Jesus, the Master Mechanic, to scope you out and do the work necessary.

Check your engine light – regularly.

Proverbs 20:5

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

Proverbs 4:23

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Matthew 11:28-30

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Philippians 2:12, 13

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

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