Pictures In the Dark
I am not supposed to be using a cell phone on a school bus. However, what you see in the picture below is the result of using my cell phone…on the school bus. But note, the brakes were on.
Yes, I used my old iPhone 4S to capture (there’s no click) an image of the instrument panel on my bus. Actually, I took a picture of only one part of my instrument panel: the part that showed my “service brake” was engaged.
As I was waiting for my bus to warm up, I sat there looking at the gauges, making sure everything was in working order. That’s when something crossed my mind that had never occurred to me before – the brake is actually performing a “service.”
The “Service” Brake
There is no “P” for “Park” anywhere on a school bus. In order to put a bus in “park” one need only engage the service brake (by pulling out a knob) and put the transmission in neutral. When the air brake is “set,” the bus isn’t going anywhere…it’s parked. The air in the system actually keeps the brakes disengaged; releasing air pressure causes the brakes to set.
Now, again, what got me to thinking is the word “service.” Sure, there’s a technical meaning to the word, but what I pondered was the service part of “service,” like “how can I be of service to you, Madam?” How could bringing something to a compete halt count as a “service?”
Well, sometimes putting the brakes on something can help people more than they realize.
For Their Own Good
There are multiple stories in the Bible where people were stopped in their tracks or kept from doing something. Here are just a few.
- In Numbers 22 we read of God stopping Balaam, a prophet, with a talking donkey! The Lord had placed an angel in Balaam’s path, preventing him from cursing the children of Israel, but he didn’t see it, and it almost got him killed. God opened the mouth of the little donkey and let it ask, “Why are you beating me?”
- In 1st Samuel there’s the story of a woman named Abigail. Abigail had a husband who got drunk and picked a bad time to offend King David. When David and his men were on their way to wreck havoc on the man and his village, Abigail ran out to stop David with a little kindness and a little food. “Thank God for your good sense!” said David. “Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands.” – 1 Samuel 25:33 NLT
- It was the Holy Spirit Himself who put the brakes on the Apostle Paul’s dream to go to Asia Minor (Acts 16), sending him instead to Macedonia (Europe). One could say this was not only for Paul’s good, but for the good of the world.
How many times have you found yourself traveling down the road toward your dreams when all of a sudden the tires screeched as the brakes locked up solid? How did you react? Were you thankful? Angry? What if God was just trying to keep you from unseen harm? What if God was just wanting to redirect you toward greater things?
The next time God engages the brakes, keep in mind there may be a “service” He’s trying to perform for your good!