July 14, 2001
A few days ago, the unthinkable happened. I was forced to become a handyman. Now for those of you for whom that is second nature, you will think me foolish. However, for any man out there who is paralyzed by the words “Honey, I need you to fix something,” this one’s for you.
I thought it would be easy – I guess that’s the first lie we believe. The light switch that controlled the front porch and living room lights had been loose for weeks. But if you wiggled it just right, you could make it work. And I was happy with that. But when it finally ceased working all together, my wife called attention to the fact we couldn’t just leave the lights on the porch on and go through 37 light bulbs a year. Darn. That meant I must spring into action.
So I went to Wal-Mart, wandered the aisles looking like I knew just what I needed until I found another double light unit. I knew enough to disconnect the power… (uh, well, Carolyn reminded me as I was unscrewing the old unit), and I had all my shiny tools ready: an electric screwdriver, a flashlight, and a Lego. (the Lego was already in the light switch socket.. I don’t know why, but I figured it was important, so I made sure to save it).
When I had taken the old unit completely out, I was left looking at four wires, two blacks, two whites. I thought I had memorized where they all went, but when I had wired up the new unit, the headache began. One switch now turned both the porch light and living room light on. Kinda cool, actually. A new feature for our home, I thought, but Carolyn insisted in doing things the OLD way. So I tried a different combination of wires. TWO HOURS LATER, I collapsed in bed. I was hardly speaking to Carolyn because of her regular, “helpful” advice. Yet, she had been right… I had put the unit in upside down. I didn’t know there was an “upside down” with light sockets.
Our spiritual lives are a lot like this, aren’t they? We think we have all the ingredients necessary and know exactly what to do to experience a happy life here and please God, but something goes wrong. What do you do when things aren’t working out like you think they should? Do you blame the light switch? The person offering you advice? The situation?
It is vitally important for us to “put it together” right in our spiritual lives. College students in particular are looking for ways to “make the connection.” Just going to church is like an upside down light switch. It might look good, but you aren’t really connected to the power source. Being baptized has nothing to do with your eternal destination. Being a good old boy won’t get you to heaven. Put it together right. The only thing that “connects” you with God is a personal, passionate, growth-filled relationship with Jesus Christ. You must give Him your life. He’ll turn the lights on for you.