How is my connection with God?
I drive an older vehicle. It has been faithful over the years, but no one would mistake it for new.
Recently, when I went to put gas into my car, the pump’s auto shut off activated as though my tank was full, but I knew it wasn’t. To get around this, I held the pump at half-speed. At this reduced speed, I was able to fill my tank.
With my tank full, I went on my way.
When this happened again at the same gas station, I began to suspect something was wrong with their pump. Only recently had I begun using this gas station and I’d never had the problem anywhere else.
Not long after, I again returned to this same gas station to fill up. This time several cars were already there forcing me to circle around to a pump I couldn’t recall using before.
I began filling the tank, again using half-speed. As I did so, I noticed liquid beginning to drip beneath my car.
This alarmed me. I stopped pumping and looked closer. The dripping slowed. The source of the dripping wasn’t visible to me. It was coming from underneath. I decided to try pumping some more. Again the dripping increased. I tried turning the pump at different angles in case I could find an angle that wouldn’t drip. No luck.
I didn’t fill my tank all the way this time, but enough to let me drive for the next while. As I drove away, I glanced back. There was no trail of drips following me. I made mental note of which pump I’d used.
When I got home, I drew a rough sketch of the layout of that particular gas station and marked the pump I’d used. It must have been a leaky pump. I would avoid it in the future.
It crossed my mind that maybe I should report the leaky pump to the staff at the gas station, but they probably already knew about it, right?
As the time drew near for me to get more gas, I considered going to a different gas station. However, I wouldn’t earn as many points at a different one and this one was in a convenient location. I would try one of their other pumps. Surely not all their pumps were faulty.
Pulling into the gas station, I chose carefully which pump to use – not the leaky one! Even if it meant waiting for someone else to move, I was determined to use a better pump this time.
When my turn came, I went through the motions of pre-paying and selecting the type of gas I wanted. Then I lifted the pump and put it into my car. I didn’t bother trying full-speed. With the gas flowing at half-speed, I watched for any signs of trouble. Almost at once I began to see that same dripping again. I tried twisting it at different angles to no avail.
It occurred to me that maybe the problem wasn’t with the gas station or even this particular pump. Maybe the problem was with my car.
With this new revelation, I only filled my tank about halfway.
What good is a car if I can’t put gas into it? Realizing what was at stake, it was decided to take the car to the mechanics.
Sure enough, while the gas tank itself was unaffected, the hose channelling gas from the pump to the tank was rusted through.
Here I’d been blaming the gas station, but all along it was my car at fault.
Then I stop and ask, are there ways I have unwittingly done this in my own life?
As a Christian, my source, or you could say my fuel, comes from God.
In a related illustration, Jesus said: “Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” John 15:4-5 CSB
A branch is reliant on the vine for nutrients and water. In the same way, a car is reliant on the gas station to give it fuel.
If the connection between the vine and the branch is weak or broken, that branch will not receive what it needs to be strong and healthy. Likewise, when the gas pump doesn’t properly pass fuel to the car, that car won’t be able to run.
Just as I at first blamed the gas station for the faulty connection between my car and the gas pump, do I sometimes blame God (the Vine) for not filling me with what I need to produce fruit?
God never runs out of fuel to give me, nor does He have imperfections. If I am not receiving from Him what I need, is it His fault or mine? Perhaps I have a hole in my fueling system that needs looking at?
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this looks like in my life. I know that being intentional to make time to study the Bible and pray is part of staying connected with God. I also know that taking time to sing praises and to give thanks to Him are important.
With His help, I will get better at connecting to Him so that I can receive the fuel He desires to give me.