Some time ago I decided to do a job I have been putting off for some time….. doing an oil change on Nola’s car. It was well overdue and I had purchased the oil and filter over a week ago, so today was the day. Now changing the oil and filter on a car is a simple job, it should take no longer than 20-30 minutes at the most. But as I removed the old sludgy oil I knew this wasn’t going to be simple, you see once I had drained out the old oil and removed the old filter, the first thing I had to do before adding new oil is to put the sump plug back on (the sump is the part of the engine that holds the oil).. now along with the sump plug comes a “sump plug gasket”.. it is a small round flat item about the size of a ten cent piece ..tiny and insignificant looking , but without it you are in big trouble because it seals the sump plug and stops new oil leaking out .If it is faulty you can slowly lose all your oil ,overheat and eventually blow your engine!

But it was one of “those” days, the old sump plug gasket was split and useless, I had to get a new one, but where? I started by calling Autobarn. .. they told me they don’t sell sump plug gaskets (some auto store!) . Then I walked to the closest mechanic, closed for the weekend. Then I walked all the way to the closest petrol station, they also didn’t stock them.. Finally I borrowed a friend’s car and drove to a Repco store where for the princely sum of  .70c I was able to purchase the little round flat object, that was so vital to getting the job done.

A job that should have taken 30 min. took me over 2 hours to finish all because of a little inconspicuous, inexpensive item. But a car stays idle and useless without a humble sump plug gasket.

At the end of the job I looked at that little sump plug gasket and thought that it was a lot like prayer (crazy things you think about when you’re a pastor trying to be a mechanic) Prayer indeed seems such an insignificant thing…. a small commitment really…. starting the day, with maybe just 10 or 15 minutes talking to God, committing our day to him, going over the things before me, asking for His help and His guidance.. Yet without it, the simplest day can be a convoluted mess.

In the world we live in prayer seems such an irrelevant thing but when it is missing our lives are meaningless, our relationship with Jesus a distant memory. We lose valuable oil!!

How about you?  How is your sump plug gasket going?

“But to You I have cried out, O Lord,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You”   Psalm 88:13

Peter Los.