"First take the log out of your eye, and then you'll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother's or sister's eye."
Jimmy R. Watson
It is springtime, which for me means, among other things, allergies and mowing. I actually enjoy mowing the grass because as an introvert, mowing the grass really gets my engines running!
But when I dug out my lawnmower from my undersized and overcrowded storage room the other day, the engine wasn't really up to the task. I could get it started but immediately it sputtered and died. After numerous attempts, I pushed the mower over to my neighbor who lives on the next block. He is an elderly, chain-smoking, profane, hard-of-hearing lawnmower repairman.
He smiled as he saw me, asked what was wrong, and upon hearing my explanation, immediately said, "It has a little dirt in the carburetor." I asked him how he knew that without first examining my lawnmower. He answered, "Because it always has a little dirt in the carburetor."
Just as my crusty old lawnmower repairman knows a thing or two about lawnmowers, I believe Jesus knew a thing or two about how to make the human engine run a little better. He knew that as long as we continue to focus on the little specks of dirt in other people, we would be unable to detect the large mounds of dirt in ourselves. The world will run a lot smoother when we accept the fact that everyone has a little dirt in their carburetors, including us.
Loving God, may our lives move from sputtering to purring. May the dirt in our carburetors diminish in the wake of your grace-filled maintenance. Amen.
Jimmy R. Watson is the Pastor of St. Andrew United Church of Christ, Louisville, Kentucky.