Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Serving God Willingly—Finally!

     I love serving God when it's doing stuff I enjoy—attending church, visiting relatives or friends at care homes, spending time with family, mailing thoughtful gifts or letters to loved ones, etc.
     But I've hated serving God in a way that I didn't even realize was serving him: by confronting and/or convicting (in a heart-felt sense) unscrupulous auto mechanics.
     Unpleasant experiences with unscrupulous auto mechanics have happened too many times for me to want to recall—it really stresses me out. Why would anyone want to do that? They should just quit if they feel ripping off customers is the only way they can make a reasonable profit. (Same's true for any profession.) Twice this occurred at the hands of fellow Christians from the same church, too! Talk about disappointing. No wonder the profession is in such low repute among the public.
     But the thing God showed me in the midst of another botched simple repair (worn brake pads) is that by confronting a mechanic and insisting on a proper repair, I am effectively serving God, for not everyone is knowledgeable enough about cars to recognize a botched repair. And not everyone who recognizes “something's wrong” has the strength to confront a perpetrator. Poor repair service or out-and-out sabotage—it happens, I saw one mechanic loosen the bolts on my car's valve cover that caused oil to leak out—this for a simple oil change; another knocked out my car's wheel alignment, causing the car to drift leftward; another shaved the insulation off sections of spark plug wires (causing sparks to arc to the engine block), covered them with plastic tape and locking plastic ties, and blamed it on rats; another added bubbles in the brake lines causing highly deficient braking even as the brake pedal traveled flush to the floor—could cause expensive damages or even injury or death in an accident. And if I don't speak up about such things, the perpetrator will have no incentive to change and thus other innocent victims who can ill afford it will suffer or perhaps even worse.
     Speaking up about wrong doing or confronting a wrong doer is never easy. I can be like Moses or Job when it comes to that—a very reluctant servant. But if I don't speak up who will? I've only newly discovered that God knows that I have the strength to confront or convict (in the Godly sense) such individuals and that he places me in such positions for his good purposes. And that I should be joyful about it. Which I only recently tried.
     This last time was with an older mechanic in his 60's. After he corrected the deficiency, he thrice apologized and everything about the car seemed to function well. Perhaps more significantly, when I first brought my car in, it was the only one at the shop—a slow day. I picked it up late that day (still the only car), noticed the deficiency immediately, brought it back, told the mechanic about it, showed him the problem during a test drive, and left the car for him to correct overnight. He called early the next morning and said it was done. When I picked it up late that afternoon, the shop had multiple cars and customers—a busy day. God may have blessed him for having done right (in the end) by me. I choose to believe so.
     And I was able to handle the whole unpleasant episode with a lot less heart-thumping stress than in the past, knowing I was doing the right thing and serving God and others, perhaps the mechanic most of all.
     Historically, I never went back to unscrupulous mechanics—best to avoid further trouble. And by avoiding, I felt I was convicting them that I knew what they'd done. (They returned to me a clearly botched repair, I went elsewhere to have it fixed.)
     But this last one? Perhaps I'll give him another chance. We'll see how God leads...

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