A man took his car in to the dealership for a tire and oil change. It was a recent model vehicle in excellent condition with many miles still to go before it would need any real work.
His wife drove him back to work and they planned to pick the vehicle up at the end of the day. Unfortunately, a surprise audit at work meant the man was kept at work much later than he had planned, and he forgot all about the vehicle repair.
His wife received his message to have dinner without him and wondered what he would do to get home, but decided to let him work out the details. She would call later, she decided, to validate that all was arranged. His wife was settling in to a quiet but lonely dinner when the phone range. It was her daughter, in labor, and sounding quite frightened. All thoughts of anything but her daughter went immediately out of her head and she rushed to support her daughter at the hospital. Unfortunately, she forgot to take most of her belongings as she hurried out the door.
The nurse assured her that the baby was stable, but mentioned that the doctor had some concerns about the delivery. They monitored the young mother very closely. After an hour and some additional tests, a condition was discovered that demanded an immediate change of plans and surgery. In all the commotion, the mother found herself sitting in the hospital without a real understanding of what was happening. Feeling helpless, she remembered her husband and tried to contact him. She was interrupted with news about her daughter and found no opportunity to call her husband for some time afterward. When she did call, they discussed the situation and he soon found a solution that did not involve her.
The baby was delivered safely and the mother was stabilized and resting, much to the relief of the baby’s father. Later that evening, the man and his wife smiled at pictures of the new baby, and relived the moment of fear that could have meant a different end to the night. Thankfully, a car repair was all that was left to worry about and that could wait until morning. The man had already planned two options, and was not worried about his vehicle until he phoned the dealership the next day. The vehicle was reported to be still with the mechanic, and there was no estimate on the time to pick it up. Later, the same answer was given and an offer to provide him with a car while it was being worked on.
The man grimly walked into the dealership an hour later, demanding to speak with the supervisor. He had already written out a complaint letter to be sent if his concerns were not dealt with satisfactorily. He showed little patience with the employees who tried to help him. The estimate had been a few hours of labor, and he had a document to prove it. The manager in charge seemed strangely shocked when he was shown the document. After several minutes, he returned to the man and tried to explain what had happened. There was, he explained, apparently a mix-up on paperwork. His vehicle was in the midst of an engine replacement, and was not drivable for at least another day or perhaps two.
The man’s eyes opened wide and he seemed ready to unload his opinions. Before the man could react further, the supervisor assured him there would be no charge for the replacement engine, and that all the work was guaranteed. He explained that his vehicle’s engine had already been taken away so this was their only option. The supervisor also explained that they were in the process of taking his new tires off of the other vehicle involved in the mix-up. His tires would be installed as he had initially requested. Unable to find an appropriate response, the owner said nothing at all and just nodded to the man. What was there to complain about? After all, he was getting a new engine at no charge.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
In this story I wanted to reflect on fixing or cleaning up something that doesn’t need it.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now
In the first part of Matthew 3:15 Jesus makes his reply to John the Baptist’s concern that he is not worthy to baptize Him. Jesus is kind enough to get to the heart of the matter and not focus on John’s worthiness, no one would have been worthy to baptize the great I AM.
Being the one in charge, the one that is doing the baptizing and the preaching may not be my comfort zone, but I am certainly accustomed to taking the reigns in several positions in my life. I’m the oldest child/grandchild, I am a mother and a Sunday School Teacher, in my job I have certain oversight responsibilities, etc. For each of these and more, if I don’t realize it…I can be proud; too proud to say I’m wrong. John is undone when he is faced with Jesus. Certainly this is a show of John’s humility for he could have put on a smile and just welcomed Him. However, to me the ultimate act of humility is someone who doesn’t need to be fixed at all, asking to be baptized in agreement that repentance and change of heart is necessary.
Jesus said that He is the way. He told us that by looking at Him we have seen the Father and could begin to grasp how vast God’s love is for us. Taking on the form of a servant, becoming THE HUMAN deserving of God’s wrath for all humans, Jesus shows ultimate humility and that is the core of His life and ministry; deserving much more but never getting it. In reflecting on this I found that with Jesus there is no false humility. He didn’t protest John’s point at all. Sometimes I would rather belittle myself to raise someone up, so this is a point I must also consider. While being honest about my sin, I must also allow the Lord to work out His righteousness in me. It is not fair to focus only on my failures, that takes the victory and stomps on it. Can I fix the broken state I am in? No, that is not possible. Like a car that had it’s engine replaced, I am not the same after I’ve been made a new creature. Thankfully.