A soft, steady click. Not more than the light click of a spacebar.
This little click is all it took to cause a week-long headache of a recurring battery failure on our Ford Explorer. A headache that peaked when the dead battery caused our son to be late for his first day of pre-school.
The issue in diagnosing the problem was the battery was fine to drive from Grand Rapids to North of Detroit, then the next morning it was dead. After recharging it was fine for a day. Then dead again. After recharging again we drove back to Grand Rapids with no trouble. Finally, another full day later the battery was dead on pre-school day #1.
After yet another jump start, Autozone checked the battery along with the charging system. Both the battery and charging system passed their test. Autozone said they could not check the alternator, but Advance Auto said they would. A quick trip to Advance Auto also showed the charging system and alternator were once again “functioning properly”. So what next? Another recharge and limp the car through the weekend? I resigned to jump the battery as needed for the weekend and planned to take our car to the dealership during the week.
Naturally, this weekend I had big plans to race in a cyclocross race almost two hours away and my boys were excited to tag along and sleep in the bed of our Explorer the night before the race at the camping area. (I was excited to sleep in the car as well, a little check off the bucket list)
After a long journey to the race site, and taking time to get some things set for bedtime, I laid down with my boys in the back-end of our Explorer and went through our nightly routine of prayer and songs. After our normal routine I stayed to ensure they were comfortable since this was a new sleeping scenario. As I laid there I finally heard the click. I asked the boys if they heard it and after waiting a minute or so they confirmed my suspicion. A soft click kept a slow, but steady, rhythm through the night.
Waking up the next morning and slowly starting to get ready for the day I started to think about the soft click in the trunk. Was it a speaker malfunctioning? Was it some kind of suspension auto-adjustment taking place or jammed? Upon exiting the car to let the boys out of the trunk I found the culprit of the click.
The rear wiper was stuck and trying to return to its resting position.
As we ate breakfast got ready for the races of the day I took the bike rack off of the car and waited. Roughly one minute later the little wiper arm finished its swipe and returned to the resting position.
The battery has been fine ever sense. The occasional click of the wiper motor had been draining the battery. Such a simple issue had caused us a great deal of trouble.
Fast forward to the next day at church. The title of the sermon was ‘Tuning In’. The premise of the sermon was to follow this prompt, “Why we need to listen to God’s voice”.
As Pastor Brown started in on the sermon my mind drifted back to laying in the trunk of my SUV and hearing the subtle click of the wiper blade. A few thoughts flooded my mind as the service continued.
- How many clicks does God send me everyday that I never seem to hear?
- In what ways do I directly and inadvertently mask these clicks?
- Am I making an effort to listen for clicks from God?
Personally, #1 and #2 in this list are pretty close to the same thing. Connecting to the dead battery scenario, the wiper blade was crying out every minute for days on end but I never heard it trying to move. I feel as though in life we get lost in masking clicks from God by overworking, failing to disconnect from devices, and neglecting the benefits of taking time to meditate on events happening in our life. Prior to this busy weekend, I was overcome with the need to just be.
As Mark 4:39 states- “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
When the waves are rolling and the storm of life is bearing down on us we need to remember this verse. Much like the click of the wiper blade, God is always speaking to us. It is up to us to listen and stay in tune with what we are being led to do.
So after a full week of recharging the dead battery, unplugging electronics in the car, turning off the cooling system, shutting off the automatic lights, running the car for a half-hour in the driveway, testing the battery at two stores, and causing transportation issues for our family we finally fixed the battery issue. I am thankful after all of the trouble it was something as simple as the rear wiper being stuck.
Much more important than the actual act of the wiper being stuck is the damage that was caused as a result of not listening for that steady click of the wiper motor. To help avoid similar turmoil in life I truly feel it is important to make a conscious effort to listen for clicks from God. I can assure you they are always being sent out. Sometimes we miss them, and sometimes we work to find a way to block them out. Either way we need to be tuned in to the directions God has for our lives. Not following His guidance can lead to much more than simply a dead battery. I pray that we can all find a way to tune in and hear what God has to say. Peace.