Ponderings with Doug – September 2, 2016

“We don’t understand it, but your muffler is disintegrating from the inside.”

For once the description of the sound the truck was making was congruent with the sound the truck made. Many times you attempt to describe a noise to the service technician and the vehicle won’t cooperate, but Saturday it did.

“Eventually your muffler will disintegrate and your truck will become very loud.”

There are two ways you know you are old. The first way is when you don’t like the idea of your truck being loud. When you are old, you want the muffler to silence the sound. Loud and old don’t mix, whether in music or in clothing selection. The other way one notes their arrival at old age happens in some elevators. If you hear Muzak playing the elevator and it is the same melody of the music of your adolescence you are old. If your parents said, “Turn that garbage down!” And you hear that music playing at the doctor’s office, you are old.

Saturday, Muzak was playing at the car dealership as the service man described the disintegrating muffler. I am old. I was wondering if a loud truck would be accepted in a funeral procession. Would the truck be heard pulling into the parking lot on Sunday morning? What would the Baptists think? What would the Catholics say?

How much to fix a disintegrating muffler? It was going to be expensive because rotting from the inside was not covered under any warranty.

How is your muffler?

The diagnosis of a muffler disintegrating from the inside was spiritually enlightening.

Do you know what it feels like to rot from the inside? Discouragement is interior rot. You start out with faith, hope and love and if you don’t constantly stay centered in Christ, the world can whittle away at all three. You start disintegrating spiritually. Discouragement most often happens when you get something fixed into your head and heart rather than seeking out what God would have you do. Most often you are discouraged when God is not doing things your way.

The other thing you might discover is that when your muffler disintegrates you become loud. That seems to be the gist of public discourse today, just get louder than the other side. Conversation has been replaced by competition and ideas are rapidly giving way to idiocy.

There is a verse of scripture that comforts and confronts at the same time. The same eight words can bug the fool out people with mufflers that are disintegrating and offer hope to those who need to have their muffler restored. If you need faith, hope and love restored, hear the word of the Psalmist:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I get it, Lord.

Will you help me repair my muffler?