Friday, November 14, 2008

Little Pieces

I sat cleaning parts and pieces this week and thought of God working on my character.
"How bout a rag for this oil slime covering you, and then maybe a little scraping with a tool and....ooops this stuff is stuck pretty hard, and what's all this grit in the crevices? Into the bucket of gas you go to soak a little."

There were many times this week I wished for even a bucket of gas to throw all my parts in but I only had diesel and rags. No 'gunk tank' no solvent sprayer no parts washer, just me the oil and the rags. It made me think of how as Christians and Christ followers we so often want God to take it easy on us.
........."What about that rag there, that looks the softest."
Instead of letting Him be efficient. Sure a bolt or even one hundred bolts can be cleaned pretty well with a rag, and it sure is nice for the bolt in the process. But is it best? Sure everyone seeings that Mr. Bolt is getting cleaned...but what will they see when it is done? A shiny like-new bolt or just a slightly less smeary one. Of course Mr. Bolt has nothing to say about whether he goes in the gunk tank or not, and if I had one he would go in and with only a short dip, he would come out much better than the best rag job could do.
Am I resisting being thrown in the gunk? Could God make much quicker and better progress on my if He threw me in? Is He having to spend time doing a rag cleaning because I refuse to accept anything less comfortable? I hope this week of cleaning and re-cleaning the little pieces to an oily little engine in dusty Santa Cruz was a stiff solution to knock off some of that, "I'm a cool pilot" crust or whatever needed cleaning. I will pray for Him to do whatever He deems most effective and for strength to take the cleaning with a smile.
Life is short; Go for the Gunk!

"How important are the little pieces?"
"To whom? To me?"
"Oh very very important!" (a possible conversation I had planned for the next visitor)

Yes very important, I spend lots of time on little pieces and losing one can cause me much sorrow. I felt like the woman in Jesus parable who lost one of her coins. I could not move forward until I found this bolt. Forward was the direction to completion of a task already long enough. It was the direction towards fun things, like dumping oil in, filling the radiator making a few final checks and turning the key. It was hopefully the direction that would result in a test run, clean up and relaxation before the Sabbath came. I couldn't go. Friday afternoon, shops closing, a unique bolt, one of two, not to be done without. So I search like that woman. I cleaned like that woman, but unlike her I did not find the wander.
I knew precisely when it had gone MIA. The little boy had retrieved it from a tumble through the engine compartment and beyond that I couldn't remember. A good kid but in a moment of brain absence could it have gone in his pocket and traveled to the outskirts of the city. I'd hate to accuse of such a thing.
Frustration, patience running out. Just one little piece, holding up everything, ruining next week's plans.

"Have you looked here?".....
"no"( that is the junk hole, there is nothing anybody wants in there, I don't put anything in or around that hole...I've never had anything fall in there...look if you want)

out come rags, wires, old bottles for water and oil, a bottle jack, a lug wrench, dust, dirt, old plastic bags, rust....

"Here is your bolt...good thing we looked in there."

I rejoiced like the woman.

Such a little piece, yet so important to me in a large project with many, many little pieces.

I'm such a little piece too, thanks for coming looking for me Jesus.

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