After returning from a week and a half vacation on the Gulf of Mexico (the non-oily part), our yard needed some TLC. So the Hotness and I teamed up. She grabbed the mower and I grabbed the gas powered weed whacker/trimmer. She started the mower up and went merrily on her way. I grabbed the weed whacker, flipped the switch to “cold start”, pushed the rubber bubble to prime the engine, and yanked the cord. And yanked. Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. (“Man, it’s hot out here.”) Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. (“Arrggghhhh.”) Yank. Yank. Yank.
What in the world? I’ve had a slight problem starting up my trimmer in the past, but never like this. This was absurb. I thought, “Okay, I’ll take a break and get some plyers for when I need to change the line on the trimmer later. That’ll give the engine a chance to reconsider its obstinance.” So, I went inside, got the plyers, came back outside, stared down that trimmer, and tried again. Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. Yank. (“Man, is this getting frustrating.”) Yank. Yank. Yank. (“My arm hurts.”) Yank. Yank. Yank.
Okay, this was getting ridiculous. Now, I’m getting ticked. Why wouldn’t this thing work? My wife is already halfway done the front yard, and I’m still standing here looking at a trimmer that won’t–for the love of everything good and decent–start up and work! I figured I’d take a break again. I don’t recall what I did for those few minutes, but it should have included praying. It didn’t.
So after a few minutes, I came back out to the hell-spawned machine, stared it down trying to intimidate it into submission, picked it up and again yanked, yanked, yanked, yanked, yanked on the start cord. (“Trimmer, you are like 30 seconds away from being a permanent part of that tree trunk over there. So, if you value your place in my life and in my shed, I’d suggest that you do something besides sputter!”) Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.Yank.
I set it down on the ground, sweat pouring from my forehead, my t-shirt dripping. And I hadn’t even actually done anything yet.
And that’s when it happened. I looked down at that trimmer and noticed a silver switch with two words on either side of it: “OFF” and “ON”.
Guess what I had forgotten to flip? Yep, the kill switch. I could’ve yanked that start cord for the next 4 years and it never would have started as long as the “ON” switch was “OFF”.
Truth is all around us, friends. And if you think for a second that I didn’t make an IMMEDIATE connection of that switch to a powerful life principle, you don’t know me too well.
How often in our own efforts to do roll up our sleeves, go at something over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, only to end up in the exact same place we started? How often do we decide that our strength is enough, or that is has to be? How often do we overlook the obvious truth in front of us: that the God who made us has every bit of power and offers us his power in its fullest measure; more than we need to handle the situations we face, whether they are slightly annoying or catastrophic.
Where in your life have you been yanking and yanking and yanking on that cord, trying to make a go of it in your own strength? Where in your life are you ignoring the “more than enough” power of God to lift you, guide you, help you, and empower you to overcome that situation? Would you be willing right now to reach down in your heart and mind and flip that switch? Allow the all-sufficient, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God to give you every bit of every resource you need as you live with Him today.