I am the king of flat tires. No, make that the Joker, because the number of them I get is truly comical. I have yet to rotate the tires on my Caravan as every few months, a tire is being replaced. The circumstances are different, and the names are changed to protect the innocent, but each time I am forced to take my nemesis head on: The Spare Tire, aka. The Donut.
Regardless of the number of times I have subdued this beast, each time is an epic battle. It seems simple enough, a half twist counter-clockwise, then crank the nut clockwise until you can get the tire out. I am sure that every night, the engineer of the release mechanism under my van lets out a haughty laugh, admiring his brilliance. It never works the first time. It hardly works the fiftieth time.
After the beast has been unleashed, and properly mounted, there is still the matter of driving. It’s embarrassing. About the only thing it’s good for is, well, nothing. It impedes my speed and handcuffs my handling. The only thing on my mind is how fast can this be fixed, so I can put it back where it belongs; out of sight – out of mind.
It hurts to say, but sometimes this is how I treat my Jesus, as a “Spare Tire Jesus.”
My life is on cruise control, situation normal, and bam! Something goes wrong. Uh-oh, life can’t go on like this. I’m forced to get dirty now, to get on my knees and pray for help. It should be easy to do. Speaking with Jesus should be an every day event, not just a call I make when I need roadside assistance.
So I get my “Spare Tire Jesus” out, and install him in my life for a time. And sometimes it’s embarrassing to put Him on display for the world to see. What if people were to know that Jesus was a part of my life? Not just that, “I’m saved,” but that I truly put my trust in Him, that He is as integral to my life as having a fourth tire.
My “Spare Tire Jesus” alters the way I drive my life. He changes the direction I want to go, and how fast I can get there. This is a good thing. Jesus is meant to be more than a pull in a certain direction that hampers me getting to my destination. He is meant to be the navigator and driver. If he holds the plan for my life, it only makes sense that He knows how to get there better than I.
Well, the situation clears, now what? With my van, I put a new tire on, and pray it doesn’t happen again anytime soon. But this cannot be allowed to happen with my Jesus. Instead of being my safety net in case of emergencies, He needs to be my life. Those times when life gets a flat tire are generally the result of me not following Christ’s examples for living (Matthew 5-7) and are simply His way of saying, “Chris, you’re on the wrong path. It’s time to get it straight.”
Is Jesus your spare tire? Is He only for use in emergencies, hard to get out, and embarrassing to display as you live life? I encourage you to get out of the drives seat, climb into the trunk, hand Jesus the keys, and say, “Where you lead, I will follow.” He will take you on unbelievable adventures, and there will be no need to worry about getting a flat tire when He takes the wheel.
Chris Mooney is an aspiring author. He lives with his wife Bethany and five children in Depauville, NY. You can visit his blog at www.crmoomey.com