Pastor's Pen
by Buzz Dahlen
This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but I do not know everything.  In fact, there are many things that I know very little about and some things that I know absolutely nothing about.  I would have to say that I am typical in this area.  So how does one get by on this limited knowledge?
Recently I have been working on my white (paint flaking off) 1990 Dodge Caravan.  The blue VW van is on injured reserve for now.  That left me without a vehicle that I could call my own.  The Caravan would not start and hadn’t started since February some time.  Now that the VW van was not available, I became motivated to work on the Caravan.  I know very little about how to get a van to start that won’t start.  I called on a friend who offered to help.  We started (he started, I watched) checking all of the obvious potential problems.  My friend consulted a book for this particular make and model to see what it had to offer.  When we were unable to find the solution, I contacted a mechanic for more counsel.  He was very helpful to get us started in the right direction.  With that counsel, we were able to focus our attention in a particular area.  That was very helpful.  But we were still not able to get the van running.  So, I contacted another mechanic and asked the next set of questions.  He was able to give me more specific counsel and after the small and inexpensive part arrived the van started…
Once I got the van running and started looking to fix other things that had broken.  One thing in need of replacement was the side view mirror.  There was no way that I would have even considered attempting to replace something like this a few years back, but now I was willing to consider it.  I removed the inside door panel and exposed a few screws.  I took them off but was still unable to remove the mirror.  So, I went to someone who works on auto bodies and asked for counsel.  He pointed out a little tiny hole that had a setscrew in it.  Once I saw that I was back home and had the mirror off in just a minute of two.  Then it was off to the junkyard for a replacement part and then I put it all back together.  
To repair the engine I called upon to resources, a willing friend and the counsel of the knowledgeable.  To replace the mirror I drew upon to resources as well, the counsel and the knowledgeable and the wisdom of experience.
The counsel part is easy.  There are many people around who have the knowledge that I do not possess.  Most people understand this but choose to not take advantage of it because it is embarrassing to admit that they do not know everything.  There is also a silly attitude that keeps a person from allowing themselves to be dependent upon the knowledge and experience of another.  If it wasn’t for the knowledge and experience of others I would never have gotten that Caravan started.
The knowledge and wisdom of experience is a different matter.  I had to go through some pretty trying situations with my VW van a few years back.  The VW needed many repairs.  It was not worth taking to a repair shop to do all the work that needed to be done, so I ventured out to where I had never gone before.  When I got someplace where I needed some help to continue on, I found it and moved on.  The best part was that in the midst of that troubling experience, I learned some things.  I learned things that made it so much easier to replace the mirror.  So, as it all turned out those things that I thought were “bad” back then were actually used for my “good” now.
In life, we face all sorts of challenges that we have no knowledge of or experience in; challenges like marriage, children, health and faith.  When we are faced with these challenges, we must not be too proud to seek the counsel of others, who have the knowledge and experience.  And when we go through these times, be thankful for them for they will serve as great teachers to help us through future challenges. 
Don’t forget, you can always go to God for counsel.  He made this promise to us: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  Psalm 32:8

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