196. Timing Belt

196. Timing Belt

I recently had to change the timing belt in our car. It passed the 140000 km mark, and it is highly recommended to be changed around this time. Small maintenances I usually do myself, but it was a major one, so I let the dealer replace it.

A timing belt is a cheap rubber belt that makes sure that the engine works in correct timing with other vital components. But the reason why timing belt change is so critical is that it breaks without warning. Because it is made of rubber, once it wears out, it doesn’t make any suspicious sound before it breaks. It just breaks. And when it does, the consequence is often fatal.

It is very similar in our spiritual life. The timing belt in our faith is “trust.” Trust is what holds our reality and God’s promises together. God’s timing is different from ours. Trust helps our reality and God’s promise to work in proper “timing,” as it connects “what happened” and “what could be” in tension. And trust does not last indefinitely. It can break. What erodes and damages the trust is undoubted doubts, misinterpreted past, and unrealized wishes.

When the trust breaks, it breaks without notice. Those who leave faith usually say, “I can’t trust God anymore.” And their expression might be pretty accurate to reality. Their trust broke through wear and tear. They feel unable to trust regardless of their effort because the trust broke.

What fortifies our trust is “testimony.” Testimony is a witness of what God is doing. It helps us to overcome inevitable doubts and questions that arise from living with an invisible God. Those who try to remain thankful seem to experience far more testimonies than those who complain. It is because gratitude comes from correctly interpreting our past through God’s perspective. Also, choosing to do faith in the church community is so vital in fortifying our trust in God. Though we might not have testimonies, we can still be strengthened through others’ testimonies.