Friday, August 17, 2012

ding. ding. ding. ding.

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

That's the sound my car has been chiming for about a year now.  Off and on, it's a sound I have come to predict... anticipate... expect.  An annoyance I'm well aware of.  An irritant that I have actually had to listen to while driving hundreds of miles between Chicago and Houston as we moved to our new home this past year.... the WHOLE way... the WHOLE time!

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

Our mechanic in Chicago told me several times that the dinging didn't exist.  Clearly it was a problem he couldn't simulate... a matter he couldn't or wouldn't resolve.  Dude!.... ARGH!

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

"Oh come on!... My seat belt is fastened, Black Betty!"  (Yeah, I named my car, Black Betty.  What's it to ya?  LOL.)  "Really, I'm locked and loaded!  So why, ohhhhh why, do you still ding at me and flash your dashboard warning lights indicating that I am not secure?  I'm secure!!!  I'm in!  I'm ready to drive without further commentary.  So, whhhhyyyyyy the dinging??? WHY?????"

"Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.  Ding.  Ding."  (And so it goes.)

Last week, Chuck finally asked me, "Honey, why aren't you driving your convertible here in Texas?  It's the perfect place for it!"  (Mind you, my lil' Volkswagen EOS was a very sweet gift he gave me for my 40th birthday....  I sooo married UP!)  I hesitated to answer, but finally freaked out at him, "Babe, that stupid car's dinging is driving me CRAZY!"  (No pun intended.)  "I simply can't listen to it anymore!  I'm not making this up!  It dings and dings and dings!  I won't drive it until it is fixed.  I won't!  I can't!  Nope... it ain't happening!  AINT, I say!!!!"

Understanding that I had reached, shall we say, a delicate moment... a breaking point, it you will... my hubby did what all good hubbies do... he rescued me from the burden.  He calmed me down, reassured me of his advocacy toward all things "Vicki", and scheduled an appointment at our new local VW mechanic here in Houston to discuss our options.  Hurray for hubby!  Soon, my hair would once again be blowing in the wind... without the dinging!  WOOT!

But alas.  Hubby could not get the car to ding for Volkswagen.  Nor could James, the Service Dude, get the car to ding.  Even Mr. New Mechanic Guy, Marshall, could not get the car to ding.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Null.  Did I say, NOTHING!  "What up, Black Betty?  Don't make me look completely insane here!  Start dinging!  I mean stop dinging!  I mean.... oh, argh!!!!"

In a last effort to save face and fix my car, Momba drove me out to the VW dealership yesterday so that I could take Service Dude James out as my passenger to try and simulate the issue.  Surely, Black Betty would ding for me again.  She likes to ding for me.  Of course, before getting in the car, James said as non-threatening as possible to me, "Victoria, I'm not calling you a liar, but I don't think there is anything wrong here."


I responded, "James, I don't even want the car if you can't fix this incessant dinging!  Going. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. CRAZY!!!...."

While strapping in our seat belts, I whispered a quiet prayer in my mind.  "Lord, help!  Please show everyone here that I'm not completely nuts.  Show the problem.  Fix the problem." No sooner were we pulling out onto the street and my dash started lighting up like Christmas day.  "LOOK!"  I exclaimed.  "See that blinking light?  It's only a matter of time and she'll soon start to...."

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."


(Thank you, Lord Jesus.)

In disbelief, James looked at me stunned.  Two minutes of non-stop dinging down the road, he finally moaned, "This is awful!"  (Um, YEAH!)  Then, he instructed me to turn around and drive immediately to Marshall the Mechanic... do not pass go... do not collect $200.00. Just get our patootie's over to Marshall as fast as I could drive so they could hook up my car to the computer and determine what the heck was going on.

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

The earth continued to rotate around the sun.
Momba comfortably read magazines in the waiting room.
And I... yes I, was about to get my car fixed... and fixed properly!!!  WOO HOO!

In the end, it turned out my seat belt was malfunctioning in it's computerized connection to my seat.  A short in the wiring, if you will.  It obviously wasn't registering that I had secured myself in.  Marshall showed me on his computer that the belt connection was actually flickering on and off.  When I asked him if he could just disconnect the whole connection from the car, he declined and informed me of this very interesting fact.  You see, today's cars are much more advanced than we realize.  Our seat belts are specially programmed to the car to faithfully determine how fast our bodies might be thrust forward (or even to the side) at any given moment, in any given driving emergency.  Black Betty's connection problem could have caused me a much greater danger had I been in an accident.  For if her belt didn't register properly, my air bags might never deploy when, and how, they should in an accident.  Not cool, Betty.  She needed a new part and a little TLC to function as her German engineers originally intended.   So now, Marshall and James were on board to fix the matter... ordering Betty's new part... believing I'm not a crazy-woman... satisfying my husbands hopes to please me... fixing the problem.  (YES, Lord!  Thank you!!!)

In all this, I believe there is a lesson in parallel.  For how often do we think we are secure, yet the Holy Spirit chimes into our hearts, repetitively... blatantly... reminding us there is something wrong in how we are or aren't connecting with our King.  Are we really seeking the potential and fullness He has promised?  Are we solid in our quest to know His holy Word - His holy Way?  Or are we flickering in and out of spiritual intimacy... not really working properly... not actually equipping ourselves with His full set of promises and safety precautions in order to be protected from all possible danger?

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

Is your King trying to tell you something today?  Are you willing to attend to the matter with Him and make every effort to fix the problem?  Or will you just give up and live another day with the compounding knowledge and maddening disappointment that you are shorting yourself?

O Ladies, don't short yourself!  Don't live like a crazy, defeated woman who can't move forward in full gear.  Rather, assess the "dinging" with your loving Husband.  Ask your Savior to service every unresolved matter.  Entrust your whole life to the Great Mechanic of all Creation so that you can reconnect rather than disconnect yourself from His love and wisdom.

This is the day to get back on track!  This is the hope we can know: joyful functioning in daily obedience with our Beloved King... driving as He originally intended us to... all the way home!

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  (Ephesians 1:17-19a)



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