At the age of 22, I decided it was time for me to move into my own apartment. I had been living with my mom and dad my whole life and could have stayed with them for many more years. But it was time to make my own way in life. I found a little, inexpensive apartment in Gastonia and moved in on Memorial Day weekend.
Once I got all my furniture set up, I began working on setting up my washing machine and dryer. I had never done this before solo, but my dad had taught me many techniques for the installation and maintenance of home appliances. So, I started with the dryer. I hooked up the vent tube to the back of the dryer, plugged it in and voilà, it started drying! I was a genius!
Then I began installing the washing machine. I remembered two of the universal rules of plumbing which my dad had taught me. Hot on the left, cold on the right. So, I hooked up the water pipes, turned on the water, checked for leaks, pushed the washer in place and hit the start button. And voila! Nothing happened! I spent the next 20 minutes checking connections, tinkering and thinking about all I knew regarding the installation of a washing machine. But I could not get it to turn on.
As much as I wanted to do this on my own, I needed help from my dad. I called him and within 15 seconds my dad revealed the true depth of my genius. “Did you plug it in? Or did you assume it ran off batteries?” For years to come my dad would bring up that story during family events and everyone would get a good laugh at my expense. Oh, how I wish I had just kept quiet and found a good laundromat nearby.
Over the years I have learned an amazing truth about “plugging in.” Even the greatest, most powerful, most expensive appliance in the world is useless if it is not plugged into the power source. But if it is connected, it can accomplish some amazing things. The same is true with our lives. There is a source of power, strength and endurance that is always available to us. But, unfortunately, we have the tendency to believe that we can run off battery power.
I’m sure you have heard it said that church is the place we go to “recharge” our batteries so that we can serve God each day and be sustained through the storms of life. But unfortunately, you can’t run off battery power any better than a washing machine. The strain and power of the storms are just too strong, and your battery power will diminish quickly. Church isn’t a recharging station; it is the place where we come together to worship and honor the power source. Not to recharge batteries, but to make sure we are firmly plugged in. It’s a place where God invites you to plug into him and tether that infinite drop cord as far as you need it!
God wants to be your constant source of power, hope and assurance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can operate on your own battery strength. God is with you always! Plug in!