Faith and Family

Jones: Our need for power

By Lynn Jones

From 1974 to 1981, Danielle and I lived in Newark, Texas, where I was pastor of First Baptist Church and attended Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. We heard of a good restaurant that was located about 45 miles north of us, so one Friday night we drove up there to eat. 

The food was as good as advertised. We enjoyed the meal, and then came out to get into our car for the drive home. When I turned the key, the battery was almost completely dead. 

Lynn Jones

We were parked on a gentle hill, and the car had a standard transmission. So, instead of going into the restaurant and trying to find someone with jumper cables, I suggested to Danielle that she get inside the car, put it into second gear, hold the clutch down, and I would push her down the hill. When she got up enough speed, she could let out on the clutch, the car would start, and we could make it home. She had never done that before and did not want to try it now. She said, “Why don’t you get into the car, and I will give you a shove down the hill?”

I looked both ways to make sure that no one else was around, got into the car, and told her to give me a little shove. She was pushing the back of the car with all her might, and the car was just beginning to roll a little when a whole string of cars came down the street. The people in the cars looked at me sitting in the Pinto with my wife pushing me down the street, and you should have seen them all sneering at me.

I didn’t know what to do. I finally shouted out the window, “Faster!” About that time, Danielle got up enough speed for me to jumpstart the car. She jumped inside, and I drove off at a radar-defying speed.

It’s awfully frustrating to be in a vehicle with no power. You have a steering wheel, nice interior, beautiful paint job, but no power. No one wants that. And no one wants to try to live life with no power.

William Least-Heat Moon in his book “Blue Highways” tells of visiting a Trappist monastery near Conyers, Georgia. At the monastery, he met a monk named Brother Patrick Duffey. Duffey gives part of each day to prayer and meditation and then spends four hours working as an electrician’s assistant. When Moon expressed surprise at such different vocations, Duffey explained that really the two are quite similar. He said, “In both fields what you have is the flow of power from a greater source to smaller outlets.”

The Christian life is like that. God is the source of our power. He comes to fill us with His Holy Spirit. In doing so, we are empowered for life.

Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at:

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