It happens at least weekly throughout the Summer and early Fall, and usually when I’m in a desperate hurry. Right in the middle of drying my hair, the circuit breaker flips and the power goes out upstairs. Then I have to traipse all the way downstairs to the basement, flip the breaker, traipse all the way back up to the second story and then finally finish getting ready for the day. On top of that, I have to reset the electric clocks since the break in power made them reset to midnight.
It drives me crazy.
Part of it is my own fault. We live in an older home and, despite having had the wiring updated, too many things on one circuit will trip the breaker. I know this, but perpetually forget that I have to first check what else is using power on that circuit before blasting the hairdryer. The main culprit is the window air conditioner, which eats power. But there are power-suckers to be dealt with as well.
That’s really an analogy for my life in general.
There I am, moving along and with a bunch of things going on at the same time when – SNAP! – the circuit breaker trips and I’m out of power. Then, I have to stop what I’m doing, pinpoint the power-suckers, turn them off, reset the clocks, and go back to the most important task at hand.
Inconvenient but necessary. Without circuit breakers, the power could surge and burn down the house.
But, in my life, rather than a mechanical circuit breaker, I have a divine one – our Lord Jesus. He knows my limits and when I’ve got way more going on that I should have. He trips the circuit, not as a means of punishment or annoyance, but rather as a means by which he calls me closer to himself. It’s a wake up call that diverts my concentration from myself and my selfish goals to him and his Divine Love for me.
I know better than to have so many things all going at once. Just like the power in the upstairs of our house, I know that the circuit can only run so many things at the same time. I know it, but I forget it and test the limits anyway.
The funny thing is, the limits always end up testing me instead of me testing them. Thankfully, Jesus comes to my rescue and saves me from myself. He keeps my power from surging and burning down the house of my soul. When he snaps off my power, I’m forced to turn to him to reinstate THE power that can only come through him – grace.
Projects, problems, worries, insecurities, heartbreaks, over-extension, unwholesome diversions, apathy, anger, brooding, ambition, discord – these are all power-suckers that threaten to trip our spiritual circuits. We know they’re no good for us, yet we keep running them, often all at the same time. We become self-centered and forget that our power isn’t unlimited. We push things too far and then SNAP! the power goes out. Perhaps there’s a calamity, misfortune, crisis, or hardship that helps us realize that we’ve been living dangerously. We have to turn off the power-suckers, find the breaker and switch from self-power to Jesus-power.
It may be inconvenient, but it’s necessary.
Image: Wikimedia Commons