Hybrid (sadly)

I was party to a discussion with a teacher in my church recently, an older, wise man who was trained at the Dallas Theological Seminary. We were discussing the Holy Spirit and how He works in us. Dr. Cupp’s explanation revolutionized my thinking, but it was expectedly theological and heavy; the explanation necessarily long-winded. So of course I immediately began to work it over to find a more tangible, approachable, relevant (read: simple-minded) way to understand the principle. (You all do know by now that I am extremely simple-minded? I need it spoon fed with diagrams, please!! I also realize that my silly metaphorical way of understanding lacks theological depth. If depth’s what you’re looking for, slip over to Brady’s or Brian’s pages…or just keep listening to Pastor Armstrong.) Anyway…as I was chewing on this idea and trying to figure out how to get more of the Holy Spirit’s control in my life, it occurred to me that it will never happen to the degree that I desire because I am a hybrid.

Think of the hybrid car. A hybrid vehicle has two motors. One motor is a typical internal combustion engine (we’ll come back to that) and one motor is battery-run electric. When you start the vehicle, it uses the internal combustion engine. When you pick up speed, the vehicle switches to the electric battery engine. When you need more acceleration power, the vehicle uses both engines. In any case, the car is programmed to utilize the appropriate power source under specific conditions.

Got all that? Pretty simple really. I can cut to the chase here and just tell you that the Holy Spirit is the only engine we need and we need Him full time under every condition – start, stop, power up, accelerate, coast – every condition. But you know and I know that we alternate back and forth between our own steam and His control. We are by nature a hybrid. And sadly, more often than not, we are internally combusting because we fail to access the power available to us (told you I’d circle back around).

Every moment of the day we automatically shift into action when habit and experience are piqued, thereby operating under our own internal engine. Fight with the spouse? “I got this!” And the engine of the Holy Spirit powers down to let us operate on our own strength. Trip to the grocery? “No problem”. (*SNORT*) And off we go full throttle without His contribution. In order to have more of His power, we have to let up on our own. We power down so He can power up.

Which engine drives your day? Unfortunately, unlike the pre-programmed hybrid vehicle, we actually have to decide when to switch over to Holy Spirit power. It doesn’t come automatically. And that, my friends, is why most of us (is that too much of an assumption?) operate under so little real power.

I wish I could tell you that beyond having a grasp on the principle here that I have actually mastered the shift. I haven’t. I live too much in my own head. I am far too used to my own ways. My habits are engrained. My decision-making reactive rather than reflective. I am a hybrid under the control of my own engine and burning a lot of gas. But I drive the hybrid anyway, hoping, always hoping, for better mileage from my day; shifting over and giving up control in quarters-of-miles. Maybe soon half-miles, and a bit further down the road whole-miles until finally, the Lord powers the whole trip. If you’re managing to run on all-electric, kudos to you on your green footprint (wink). Those of us still in herky-jerky mode could use the occasional reminder to switch over when our engines run a little hot. Be patient as you power by us in the passing lane!