It sounded like she was in the culdesac across the street.
Yep. Here she comes now.
Around the bend of the street.
Stopping at each house.
Our mail carrier in her mail truck. The one with the squeaky wheel.
As she drove out of our neighborhood, I couldn't help but shake my head in wonder. Everyday for the past month she has squeaked around our subdivision. For a month. She was certainly driving home that old adage, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Or at least, should get the grease.
This persistent (and truly ear piercing) protest from her vehicle needs some attention. Perhaps it's just a squeak ... or perhaps it's an indication of a more serious problem with her truck. I bet Tom & Ray would tell her to get it checked. But then, it's not her truck. So maybe she doesn't see it as her problem.
Each day that she noisily proceeds around our culdesac, she is driving home a message to me.
I have my own squeaky wheels.
As I go about my days I have a problem with squeaking: speaking brashly to my kids, choosing to be lazy over productive, throwing "what about me?" pity parties, sighing and rolling my eyes when exasperated, opting to pay attention to the internet instead of my kids and passing judgement on people different from me.
Squeak, squeak, squeak ...
In the same way that the squeaks of the mail truck indicate a internal problem, my squeaks are evidence of internal problems, too. On the outside, I am still motoring around and mothering well, but my heart could nevertheless use some attention.
Jesus talked about this once when He was visiting Jerusalem. He had a little run in with the Pharisees regarding Jewish rituals, a question about whether or not Jesus' friends followed all the traditional rules of washing their hands before eating. Jesus responded with a fierce accusation. He scolded the Pharisees for being overly-concerned about outward cleanliness while inside their hearts were sick. While the Jewish leaders were obsessed with being sure that whatever went into their bodies was pure, Jesus was more concerned with what was already inside them ...what was the condition of their hearts?
20 He went on: “What comes out of you is what defiles (pollutes) you. 21 For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile (pollute) you.” (Mark 7:20-23, emphasis mine)
Those are some pretty strong words - many of which I'm quick to dismiss. But ... if I'm truly honest, my squeaks are as a result of some of those internal problems. And here's a few more that I would have to add: Selfishness, disrespect, laziness, judgmental attitude, rudeness, self-centeredness and ingratitude.
What, then, is the remedy for this squeaky heart condition? I would have to say that we have to submerse ourselves in God's word. If we fill up our tank with the wisdom and truth of the Bible by spending regular time reading and studying Scripture, I believe that we will see our heart changed. God's words to us in His Bible are the grease for our squeaky wheels:
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Know His commands.
Hide His word inside.
What about your squeaky wheels? How about a little of God's good grease?