“You know…that vibration isn’t good. When are you going to do something about it?”
I heard that phrase once from someone riding with me in my vehicle. 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 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 misaligned was more than slight. Both front wheels were off, and they were 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, some grunting and straining as the technician worked to break free some bound parts and a few adjustments, everything was humming along smoothly.
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. Little by little, we begin to 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 (Zechariah 1:3). That’s repentance, realignment and revival all rolled into one sentence.
I have to ask God often, “Where am I out of alignment?” I must be still before him and let him show me. Then I must allow him realign me with his plan. Perhaps God too is saying something like this to your heart as well: “You know…that vibration isn’t good. When are you going to do something about it?”
We will consider with care all the details of how we live. – Proverbs 4:26-27 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
We would ask God to teach us his ways continually and unite our hearts with reverence for him. – Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
We would allow God to correct the actions and intentions that would continue to damage our fellowship with him. – Hebrews 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.