God created us to be our own sensors when trouble's brewing


John Maurice


By John W. Maurice

Saturday, July 7, 2018

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” — Psalm 139:1-3 (The Bible, New International Version)

A few weeks ago the tire-pressure sensor in my wife’s car indicated the air pressure in one of her tires was low. It’s pretty important to keep the tires set at the correct pressure to maintain the proper balance. I took her car to Wawa (because the air is free) and put air in all of the tires. The light remained on. I walked from tire to tire, continuing to add air to each tire, but the light remained on. I was baffled. I concluded that the sensor was broken. About two weeks later I took the vehicle to our mechanic for a different issue but I also told him about the tire sensor and that I thought it must be defective. Later that afternoon when I went to pick up the car my mechanic told me that sensor was not bad; in fact, the sensor light was on because the spare tire had low air pressure. Somehow, it never crossed my mind to check that tire.

There are lots of sensors in our cars that indicate to us that something is just not right. In fact, sometimes our dashboards can light up like a Christmas tree. Sensors inform us when we need to change the oil, check our tire pressure, add windshield washer fluid, or change a bulb in a headlight. Sensors tell us when our brake linings are going bad or the engine is running hot.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our bodies came with sensors? I would find it most helpful to have a sensor to tell me when to stop eating! It might need to do more than blink. It probably should sound like a smoke alarm does in the middle of the night to really be effective. Another helpful sensor would be one that would go off when I tend to talk too much and listen too little. A sensor on my debit or credit card would be of great benefit to keep impulsive purchases and indebtedness to a minimum. And, perhaps a sensor to notify me when I begin to run low on patience and become overly critical and grouchy would be appreciated by all.

When the tire-sensor light came on in my wife’s car, I wanted to make sure that she was safe. I did not want her driving a car that would leave her stranded with a flat tire or put her in danger because her tires were not properly inflated. As I learned, a car has five tires, not four.

In the busyness of life we do not have the luxury of looking at the dashboard of our heart and seeing a sensor light glowing before our eyes. Instead, we must deliberately take notice of our bodies, minds and hearts. We should pay attention to our bodies telling us that we need rest, food, exercise, mental stimulation, or interpersonal connection. Maybe we really need to listen to our spouse or child when they tell us we are acting like grumps instead of becoming defensive and grumpier! When we begin to feel disconnected from God, maybe that is the time to go to church and talk with the minister. In those times when our hearts become anxious, maybe slowing down, praying, and seeking guidance would help us find peace and rest. When we begin to feel isolated, we can phone a friend or meet them for coffee.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who wants the very best for us. It is important for us to be alert to the sensors that identify an area that might need some attention. In your diligence, don’t forget to check the spare!

John W. Maurice is president of Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of MACU.