Today I went to St. Teresa of Avila Catholic church. After Mass, I picked up a St. Teresa prayer card. On the back, it says this:
“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing affright you. All things are passing; God does not change. Patience achieves all things. Whoever has God wants for nothing. God alone suffices.””
I love knowing that God does not change, but I don’t much like the fact that it is patience that achieves all things. I’ve always struggled with patience.
I have been trying to fix the tractor this week. It wasn’t starting, so I assumed it must not be getting fuel. I did some troubleshooting of the fuel line, spending about three hours cleaning out the lines, draining the tank, etc. Nothing worked. Finally, I decided it must be the fuel solenoid. I found one online for $80 and ordered it, then went to unscrew the old one. When I did, in my haste, I turned it the wrong way, and the casing came loose. It just kept spinning and the solenoid would not come off.
I called the dealer and they told me I would have to cut the old solenoid out somehow. After trying just about everything I could think of, I grabbed a sawsall and started cutting. Well, there was a power steering line in the way, and in my haste I ended up making a hole in it. No matter, I thought. I will patch it with a bit of hose! So, I finally got the old solenoid off, put on the new one, bled the lines and tried to start it again. No dice.
Only then did I start to think maybe I should check out other possible issues. I googled “tractor won’t start” and watched a video which said to check all of the safety switches. I figured it was worth a try. There is a safety switch that goes under the seat. When you stand up, the tractor won’t run unless the brake is engaged. Well, someone had disabled the switch by taking it out and wrapping tape around it so that it would always stay down. I discovered that the tape had worn out and was slipping. I held the button down, and sure enough, the tractor started!
The solenoid hadn’t been the problem. What a beautiful sound it was to hear the engine running. “Yay! I can get out in the field and cut the grass now,” I said to myself. “How exciting!”
If only. As soon as I turned the steering wheel, a gieser of steering fluid shot up out of the hole in the line I had created when cutting out the solenoid. The steering wheel just spun and had no effect on the tires. I turned the tractor off, went inside and screamed.
When I finally calmed down, I looked at the prayer card I had picked up at church this morning. “Let nothing disturb you….Patience achieves all things…Whoever has God wants for nothing.” I was still pissed, but I tried to quiet my mind and just listen for a moment.
I realized that I had not listened to my heart which had been telling me to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. I was out there working on the tractor when I should have been reflecting on God or talking with family or friends or helping someone else. But I wanted it done now!
As I reflected further, God kind of nudged me and suggested maybe I was kind of like that tractor. I must have a hole in my steering fluid line. When God turns my steering wheel and asks me to go somewhere, I don’t go the way He wants. My wheels stay pointed in the direction of my own will.
So now, I need to sit still and figure out a way to patch both the physical line on the tractor so that I can drive it and get some work done out here, and the spiritual line in my heart so that God can direct me more readily to do His will.
If I’d only been patient and done a full troubleshooting in the first place, I would have had the fields cut already. But that’s okay. God does not change. And I know more clearly from this experience that with some patience, what needs to be done will be accomplished.