Before the lock down, back last February, (does anybody remember that far back?!), I travelled up to the North to take a look at a car I'd seen on the internet. I wouldn’t normally travel that far to look at a car but I decided to go up by coach and subsequently bought the car mainly for a hobby. That said, I'm no great car mechanic; I've rust-proofed the boot, fitted some carpet and sprayed a bit of WD40 around the engine in the spirit of a true enthusiast, but on the technical front I know I have a long way to go. However, I'm slowly learning about distributors, twin carburettors, choke cables and tracking rods from friends and car manuals and I hope I will soon be an expert.
That said I must confess to messing up badly the other day. For some reason the speedometer started to behave strangely and I felt duty bound to get to the root of the problem by removing the front of the dashboard and seeing what lay behind it. An impossible array of different coloured wires looking something like a large plate of spaghetti confronted me and created something of the angst Bond must have felt when trying to decide which wire of the nuclear device to cut in Goldfinger.
Actually, my biggest problem was how to reach the back of the speedo through the melee but being brave I thrust my hand in and hoped for the best. An hour or so later not only was the speedo faulty but the oil and speedo lights had disappeared and, for some strange reason, the temperature and fuel gauges were both reading close to maximum continuously. I promptly locked the car up and didn't look at it for days.
In some ways it was quite satisfying to have virtually a full tank of petrol I hadn't paid for but, of course, I couldn't live with the unreality of a faulty fuel gauge for long. Moral of the story? Sometimes I present an image to others that I'm doing fine and almost full up with all things godly. But, underneath, I know the true state of affairs i.e. the tank is far from full and actually is nearly empty. I can pretend the gauge is reading accurately but it isn't.
Of course, there could be all sorts of reasons for a state of near spiritual emptiness but God is a good listener and will forgive us for getting in that state. But it's important that we are honest in our self-assessment and humble in our confession.