Gorgeous got home the other day and found the air conditioner had quit. Not a good thing to happen down here in Georgia. Fortunately for us the nights are starting to get a little cooler.
The other good thing is that we called our home warranty folks to arrange for a technician to come out to look at our A/C. No problem, they said, and arranged to have a technician head over to take a look see the next day some time.
We had a house guest who fortunately was a good sport about the whole thing. So we just opened the windows, got some fans working and made the best of it.
But then when I got up the next morning I realized the problem might be a little bigger than just a faulty a/c unit.
I got up at my customarily early hour, shuffled out to the kitchen, clicked on the light over the microwave (no bright lights first thing in the morning for me) and got started on my morning coffee making ritual. When I turned the coffee pot on I immediately noticed a couple things.
First the nice, not so bright light over the stove dimmed down to about half as bright. And I heard the box fan we had going in our bedroom stop. I poked my head back in the bedroom and saw that our alarm clock was also off.
Back in the kitchen I turned the pot off again. The light went back to normal and I heard the fan again. Yep. The alarm clock was back on, blinking 12:00.
Hmmm…. Ver-r-r-y Inteh-rehs-tink.
I decided maybe I better not make any coffee if the process was going to stress out the rest of the house like that.
Our house guest had also had to get up early to catch an early flight back home. Fortunately her alarm clock was battery operated and went off in good order. She had a fun time getting ready until we worked out that every time we turned on a light somewhere in the house it seemed to make the lights in the guest bathroom dim a little more. When we turned them back off, the brightened a touch.
Nothing like getting ready for the dawn patrol in a disco bathroom!
I decided a call to the power company was in order.
After a frustrating couple of runs through the voice recognizing automated menu (technically our power wasn’t “out”. It just wasn’t all on.) I was put through to an incredibly helpful and nice lady who took down all my weird symptoms and assured me they’d send someone out right away.
And she wasn’t kidding.
Right about 30 minutes later a Georgia Power truck drove up. Actually the side of the truck still said Savannah Electric, but they were just bought out this summer. The repair man did his electrical voodoo and said, “Yep. You’ve got a problem.”
Fortunately for us the problem was on his side of the meter.
Unfortunately he didn’t have the equipment needed to fix the problem. He said another truck was heading our way and they would take care of it.
A couple hours later another, bigger truck pulled up towing a trailer with an excavator on it. I had visions of them digging up our entire lawn. But the guys told me they could probably get to the problem with shovels.
Sure enough they got our power fully restored. Total time from first dialing the phone to the power company: less than 4 hours.
When they were finished, the guys explained to me that sometimes other utility companies accidentally nick the main power line going into a house when they are burying their cabling. The damage causes the power line to fail slowly over time. It is not unusual to have a problem like ours rear its head years after the damage was originally done.
I’ve had some time to think about our little power struggle this week with all my time in the car (I think it can find Jacksonville without me at this point).
Our struggle this week is a strong analogy of the struggle that followers of Jesus face every day. Jesus himself promised that we’d be plugged into the power of God in one of his last recorded statements.
But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
All in all the New Testament contains well over 100 references to power. Most of them are talking about the power of God or of Jesus himself. But there are several that speak of the power of Jesus’ followers. For example check out these passages:
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. *
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. *
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. *
Yet somehow most of us believers operate as though we are only partially connected to our power source.
Sometimes things are like the air conditioning unit and simply just don’t work in our lives. Maybe we have some addiction or bad habit that we want to be free of, but can’t seem to shake no matter how hard we try. Maybe we are drawn to alcohol, smoke too much, have angry outbursts, eat way more than we should, spend time looking at pornography, whatever. Because we’re only partially connected to our source of power, we aren’t getting enough juice to overcome the bad thing which has control over us even though maybe we desperately want to.
Or maybe we seem to be tapped into our power source, but like turning on the coffee pot, we get unexpected results because we are not fully connected. Maybe we are very successful at work, but somehow our home relationships self destruct at the same time and we end up divorced. Maybe we pray though a big decision, feel we hear from God, step out and then, Kaplewie! Things blow up in our face. Not the result we expected.
Was God trying to trick us into making a mistake? Or is it more likely that somehow we were not fully connected to our power source?
Perhaps the reason so many see Christianity to be irrelevant to our society today is that we are so weakly connected to our power source that we don’t seem to be any different than anyone else. The only difference in many of our lives from those who don’t believe is that we get up early on Sunday morning while everyone else sleeps in. That’s not a great a selling point! Why would anyone want to follow Jesus if that is the only difference?
We were meant for more. More power. And more results.
Let me close out today with words that Paul wrote to one of the New Testament churches
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
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