What I Learned When the Power Went Out…

Tuesday’s storm knocked out the power to our house. The electric company said the power would be back on in 3 hours. No biggie. Three hours came and went. They said it would be another three hours before the electricity was restored. Still no worries? Well, maybe a little. As the clocked ticked on, it was increasingly apparent that repair time might be extended again. Condensation under our freezer in the garage was appearing. We could lose all our frozen meat and (more importantly) all our ice cream. Ugh! 

We have a problem.

Wait a minute! We also have a generator. Purchased probably six years ago, Karla’s cousin started it when we took it out of the box. We’ve not started it since. 

Here are four facts you should know: 

1) It was getting dark (A case could be made that I had too much faith in the electric company’s repair time estimates. This point was made by the key witness for the prosecution, Karla M. Prince); 

2) When it comes to generators and electricity, I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier (Did I mention it was Karla’s cousin, not me, that started the generator six years ago?); 

3) The generator’s instructions call for testing the start capabilities of the generator every three months (Did I mention Karla’s cousin, not me, started it once, six years ago); and 

4) Karla was wishing it was her cousin (not me) at our house on Tuesday night.

I did my best to try and start the generator. No luck. My precious chocolate chip mint ice cream was hanging (melting) in the balance. Something had to be done. Karla’s cousin lives too far away. I called my friend Jim. 

Jim was gracious and did not ask why I had procrastinated in starting the generator until 9:30PM. He did not say, “Rob, it’s dark and there is no power in your house. Now is not the time you should be learning how to use a generator that’s been sitting in your garage for six years.” He might have thought those things, but he didn’t say it. Jim is kind. 

Jim read the instructions on how to start the generator. Why didn’t I think of doing that?  He turned on the do-hicky that allowed fuel to flow. Hmm… I didn’t know you needed to do that. He flipped off the two thing-a-ma-bobs that need to be off. I had switched them on. He figured out that the whatcha-ma-call-it was supposed to be in the left position, I had it in the right (wrong) position. Who knew? Then Jim pushed the “on” button. My generator that had not been tested every three months per the instructions still sprang to life. Hooray!  Jim saved the day. Well, more accurately, Jim saved the ice cream. Double scoop Hooray!

Reading the instructions really helped. 

You know where I am heading with this, don’t you? God has left us with instructions too. We have everything we need for power in our lives (I’m not talking generators anymore) but too often we leave our Bible unopened and the Spirit ignored. Don’t be like the Bridesmaids with empty oil lamps in Jesus’ story in Matthew 25. They knew the bridegroom was coming but were unprepared when he came. Jesus left us with everything we need (His Word and His Spirit) to guide and help us until His return. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Be prepared for the Bridegroom. Read the instructions. Be empowered with the Holy Spirit. Be ready and hear Jesus’ words concerning His return: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:14)

P.S. Our power came on 24 hours after it had gone out. I wrote this ditty to celebrate (Sung to the tune of “There’s Power in the Blood”)

Would you be free from the darkness within?
There’s pow’r in the house, pow’r in the house;
E-lec-tric pow’r flowing once again!
There’s wonderful pow’r in the house.

There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the House of the Rob;
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the precious house of the Rob


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