06 January 2012

Check Engine Lights

Check engine lights. 

Those dreaded emissaries on the dashboards of our cars. They tell us what we really didn’t want to hear and won’t go away until we do something about it. We had one pop up on our recent trip out west. The light had turned on a couple times previous to the trip but went off again so we ignored it until the car stopped working all together. Then the anxious investigation started. Sure, the light gives us a clue (it might be the engine related or oil related) but it takes some sleuthing to find the culprit. It helps to pull out the owners manual to interpret the symbol (is that a quantum flux capacitor, it sure looks like it to me) and its even better when you can get a mechanic who has seen this type of problem before to help you out. 

Life is a lot like that. The warning lights show up: Our explosion of anger doesn’t match the size of the issue. Our depression doesn’t let up when the problem does. Our worry won’t recede even when we tell it to go away. The lights come on as reminders that things are not OK under the hood. The less adequate we feel about our autos the more likely we are to avoid the issue as long as possible (that’s me!). The same can be true of our internal worlds. If you know you won’t like what you find inside you can spend months and years avoiding it. 

Or at least until your life stops working. 

Then you have a choice just like you do with your vehicle. Find the manual and a wise mechanic or . . . walk. Walking is nice but you won’t get very far very fast. It will wear you out. And many are worn out. Many have avoided the answers from the manual God gives and steered clear of those who have been around these types of problems before and know how to fix them. 

I know I’ve done it. And when I finally find the fix I wonder why I waited so long. 

Maybe this new year means finding a new way to deal with the breakdowns. A new way to respond to the warning signs your body is giving you, your mind is shouting at you or your emotions are showing you. Maybe this is the year you find some answers and some advice from a reliable source and start driving with joy. 

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