Back in high school a good friend of mine rebuilt the engine on a 1954 Ford V8 engine. He took it all apart, had the valves and pistons reground, and put it all back together. Expectations were high. On the big day, he got the engine started and took it for a spin. To everyone’s chagrin, the engine just didn’t have any power…something was not in sync, something was off kilter. Despite further efforts, it never ran well. Well this friend did move ahead in life past this disappoint and ended up as an Electrical Engineer building Phantom IV military jets for McDonnel Aircraft.
Last week I underwent Cataract surgery on my left eye. All is going well and I’m amazed how vibrant the colors are now that I can see clearly. The dilemma is that I’m off balance… I see great out of my “new” left eye, but my right eye is blurry… so I’m constantly off kilter……. somewhat like the ’54 Ford engine my friend rebuilt. I’ve tried a few things to get things back in sync, but it’s not working. I just have to wait until I get my right eye “fixed” in a couple of weeks and then hopefully. “all will be well with my vision”.
While we all can get knocked off kilter at times by life, it’s most disruptive when it affects our spiritual life…. when we’re not “running on all cylinders” in our life in the Lord. Usually it happens when we’re not “hearing and obeying” the Lord. God’s speaking to us and directing us, but we’re not hearing his word, not accepting his word, not agreeing with his word, and ultimately not obeying. “Why am I out of peace… why am I anxious… why am I nervous…”
St. John’s first letter gives us a clue to why this can happen….. we are essentially disagreeing with God and disagreeing with God does not work out well for us. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1: 8-10)
The key to “getting back in sync” is to get back in proper relationship with God. The editor of Magnificat lists some personal intercessions that can help us do this….. “when we are reluctant to own our sins as sins…. when we are afraid, in our sinfulness to pray…. when we feel hopeless about the sinful patterns in which we are trapped…. when we refuse to forgive others because we cannot forgive ourselves, then have mercy God in your kindness …. Lord heal what we dare not face, grant humility where we take refuge in false pride.” (Magnificat 10-18-21)
When things are not going well, the problem lies with us and not with God. We need to turn to God in humility and ask him to save us, to help us, to “fix” us. And out of his wonderful love for us, he will get us back on track. Let us never be afraid to turn back to our loving father for help in times of need. He will never reject us.
So, if our “spiritual 1954 Ford soul ” is running rough, coughing and sputtering, clearly out of sync, then let’s take it in to our wonderful “spiritual mechanic” with proper humility and ask him to fix us. “Lord, I seem to have put the wrong kind of gas in my tank… I really need a tune up. And because of his wonderful love for us, he will help us and “all will be well with our soul”.