For the last several weeks, we’ve been having car trouble. It’s been back and forth to the mechanic’s until finally, the car decided it was due for leave. It has spent 4 weeks parked in a garage that is not ours, its insides gutted out while we’ve tried to adjust to a new life- walking to catch taxis and being beaten by the insistent May rains while walking to our destinations.
As you can imagine, I’ve been having intelligent (or pretending to be intelligent) discussions about cars and car parts with friends, family and mechanics. Thankfully, I’ve been able to compare notes between two mechanics through this tiring episode of trying to diagnose what was really wrong with the car. I’ve been the point person for everything, giving the rest of the family updates and then taking the decisions together. One day, my mother told me, “Make sure you ask the right questions”. I must confess. I was bewildered. The right questions? What right questions? What do I know about engines, turbo chargers, oils and tables? Asking the right questions implies that I know something about the problem. Well, now I probably know a bit since most of the car trouble falls on me to take the car to a male dominated environment where I sometimes want to pretend that I’m temporarily stepping in for a driver, brother or absent husband. So I’m learning fast. About the different things that can be wrong with a car. And about attitude.
No matter how much we were suffering- getting home is like going on a safari: after the taxi you’ve hired drops you off, you still have to walk home- we weren’t about to let on that we were desperate for the car to come home. And when we suspected that the cost of some of the spare parts sounded steep, we “threatened” to take the car away to another garage. Actually, I had given the go ahead for the move. And then guess what? He shaped up. I was playing the game without knowing that I was.
Life has been called many things- a game, a stage, even war. But luckily, we have a guide. The Bible. The Apostle Paul calls it a double-edged sword. On Sunday, while discussing why we must know what is written in the Bible, I realized that being clueless about the Bible is even more dangerous than not knowing about car engines. In Paul’s day, I suppose that a double-edged sword was one of the finest weapons you could lay your hands on in a man to man combat. These days, it’d probably be some fine model of a gun. (I know nothing about guns except the consequences of it being used). And the Bible is that weapon that you hold in your hand as you go through life as a Christian. It’s both an offensive and defensive weapon. But how can you deploy it if you don’t know how to use it?
Asking the right questions. How do you ask the right questions if you don’t know what to ask? There is so much we hear and read about God and Jesus and everything. But only God himself can tell you the truth about the answers that you want. And how do you know the truth? The Bible is one sure way. You see, I was winging it with my car, depending on a good family friend and my instincts. But in life, you can do way better than that. You only have to open a Bible and look for answers. How else can you cut through the shit and know the truth?