Small and Simple Things

by | Apr 29, 2018

Tonight I (re)learned a powerful truth. My wife’s truck wouldn’t start.  We’ve been fortunate enough to not have major car troubles for a long time but tonight I thought our luck had changed for the worst. She was off to a meeting and when she went to start her Yukon XL, our massive 8-seater SUV, it wouldn’t crank.  When she called I was immediately worried that even if it was something as simple as a dead battery it could mean a minimum of $120 to get her back up and running. I tried to jump start it with my truck, no dice. I started Googling and watching YouTube videos about what could be happening.  Was it the starter?  The alternator?  My teenage memories of working as an auto-service tech in our family’s service station came back to me and I recalled my father’s wisdom on such things, but wasn’t able to figure it out. My son was with me: my 14-year-old sidekick who always brings a positive attitude and good luck. After about half an hour, he suggested we pray and so I asked him if he would do that.  Every time we’ve been in this situation and he’s remembered that, miracles have occurred.  Seriously.  Tonight was no different. It took a while but what I found out was that the issue was due to the most unlikely culprit: a 2-amp fuse.   I was reading things that mentioned the possibility that the ignition switch could have been bad.  Or the electronic control module.  Or the on-board computer.  I was reading that some of these could cost up to $500 to fix.  Despair was starting to set in. I knew that I should start with the smallest things: fuses.  I bought a fuse tester and tested all the big ones that were suggested.  The 40-amp starter fuse, the 25-amp ignition fuse, and all the rest, including a 175 amp “mega” fuse.  I skipped over and over the smallest one, this little gray 2 amp fuse and I was certain that could not be it. I was wrong. This repair cost me $4.99. It just didn’t make any sense.  This was the smallest fuse in the entire vehicle and the only one this size. After it was all done, I had remembered that in church today a speaker spoke of “small and simple things” often having the most important impact in our lives.  In this case, it was the tiniest of electrical parts on a ginormous automobile used to transport our family of eight. I also remembered my son’s faith and his little prayer, invoking the Almighty to help us. What a significant thought, that by small and simple means, great things can come to be.  Sometimes it is the prayer of a child.  Sometimes a kind word, a thoughtful gesture to a stranger, a tiny dose of medication, a mindful approach to food and sleep, a seemingly insignificant amount of effort, or a teeny little fuse that you can buy with the spare change in your cup holder can get you powered back up again on on the road to where you’re going. I am so thankful that this wasn’t some huge and expensive ordeal and I will have to remember that so often it is the littlest of things that make all the difference. What small things are keeping your engine from running like it should?  

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