Alignment

“You know…that vibration isn’t good. When are you going to do something about it?”

I heard that phrase often from someone riding with me recently. At highway speeds there was a vibration from the right front of my vehicle that annoyed me (and, yes, anyone riding with me), plus the tires were wearing unevenly. I knew that I really needed to have the alignment checked and get new tires.

Sensors were attached to the wheels and the alignment was read by a scanner…even slight variations showed up clearly on a computer screen. The degree to which my wheels were off can be safely said to be more than “slight.” Both front wheels were “off,” and they were just fighting each other when there was any forward movement.

It didn’t get that way overnight. The “off-kilter-ness” developed over time until I finally noticed it. I grew accustomed to the shake, and it worsened, and I acclimated to it again…and the cycle continued.

After new tires, a few adjustments and what can only be described as record-time service, everything was humming along smoothly.

As I drove into work this morning, I was thinking about the technician grunting and straining to loosen bound parts in order to finish the alignment.

Alignment can be frustrating, whether with wheels…or with life.

We begin with a slight change, only off a fraction of a degree, and bit by bit we move from the standard. No longer zeroed, we find it easier and easier to make allowances and compromise. Then the shaking begins. It’s slight at first, not much more than an annoyance, but we ignore it or slow down to get it off our minds. Given time, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow we are going, the vibration is always there. And we begin to feel ourselves being pulled from the center of our lane. We fight the fact that we need to get before God and get aligned, and we fight those around us whether they are aligned or not. And little by little we show wear, not evenly as before, but in a couple of specific spots. In those worn areas, we find that we have no traction; the constant friction has created a weak spot. Before long, we realize that we can’t keep going at the same pace in the same way and still keep ourselves and our passengers safe. So we go before God and grunt under conviction and strain against our self-will as He breaks the bound parts and begins to realign us with His standard.

“Return to Me, and I will return to you,” God tells His people (Zech. 1:3). That’s repentance, realignment and revival all rolled into one sentence.

I have to ask myself: Where am I out of alignment? Will I be still before Him and let Him show me? Will I let Him realign me with His plan?

Perhaps God too is saying something like: “You know…that vibration isn’t good. When are you going to do something about it?”

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