Learning A Lesson

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Recently I was at home and my wife Lynn finished eating before me and told me to put my plate in the dishwasher and then to start the dishwasher. She explained that I needed to mash the button on the end that is marked “start.” She also has a perceptive sympathetic streak because she told me to call her if I needed any help.

I confess I haven’t mastered the dishwasher yet. I did figure that if I had a graduate degree from Princeton, I could get the thing started. I finished eating and put my plate in the dishwasher.

She explained that she already had the soap powder in the proper place and all I had to do was close the door. I did that and mashed the start button.

Nothing happened. I tried mashing it again—nothing happened. After trying to mash it at both the top and the bottom of the button I decided that I would try a finger other than my index finger. I tried my ring finger and my little finger and my thumb. None of them worked.

There are 10 buttons on the dishwasher so I saw one that said “reset.” I mashed it but nothing happened. I mashed the “cancel”—but nothing happened.

I hated to do it but I walked back and confessed to Lynn that the dishwasher did not start. She said I might have to mash the button marked “normal” again before I hit the “start” button. I enthusiastically went back to the kitchen and was ready to enjoy success. I mashed the “normal” button—but nothing happened. The same result occurred with the “start” button.

After mashing all of the buttons numerous times—and getting the same result—I sheepishly went to tell Lynn that the dishwasher was not at the present time washing the dishes. She smiled and headed to the kitchen. I didn’t dare follow her in to observe what to do.

A few minutes later I walked into the kitchen and I immediately heard the dishwasher running. There must be some secret formula to it. I swallowed my pride and asked her how she got it started?

She looked at me and smiled and said, “There is an electrical switch on the wall that engages the power that enables the dishwasher to run. You have to cut the power on before the dishwasher will work.”

Our dishwasher was extremely expensive—one of the best you can buy. Our dishwasher has everything on it that you can put on a dishwasher but it would not work without the power.

I thought about how our lives are the same way. It doesn’t matter how much talent, resources, education, training, etc. we have—without power we can accomplish nothing.

Read Acts 1: 8, which talks about the power of God’s Holy Spirit enabling us to be witnesses. Read John 15, which talks about how the branch must be connected to the vine in order to bear fruit. Connected is the key word.

I learned a lesson about washing dishes—I learned a bigger lesson about life. We have to stay connected!

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