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Air in the tires

A companion on my spiritual journey asked me to come up with an analogy for ministry. It’s still a work in progress, but here goes:

"Getting a Flat Tire" Some rights reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Michael Kappel. Sourced from FlickrMinistry is like air in a tire. (If you were expecting something profound, sorry!)

The air in our tires is something that is necessary. Without air in our tires, we would cause damage to the rims, possibly other parts of the vehicle (car, bike, whatever). And so we need to pay attention to the air in our tires.

Most days, everything is fine. Nothing needs to be done.

But sometimes, we start to notice the air is getting a bit low. And, if we don’t do something, we might get into trouble.

Sometimes we notice the air is very low—and that means there’s imminent challenges and potential damages unless we take action fast.

Sometimes a tire can be too inflated, causing the tire to stretch in unhealthy and unhelpful ways—a different type of damage.

Sometimes, a sharp obstacle or pothole can cause a tire to just blow out unexpectedly.

To be sure, a slow leak is more common, and more fixable, but you never know what is on the road ahead, and you can’t always avoid hazards, and who knows what inner, unseen stresses may be causing some weakness.

A flat tire is unhelpful for the journey.

A flat ministry is also unhelpful for the journey.

Ministry is like the air in the tires—it needs to be checked on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it needs a bit of a top up, sometimes it needs some immediate attention to prevent irreparable damage, sometimes damage can happen when we least expect it.

But the air in the tires, of our ministry, should always be checked as part of the journey.

May our ministry be examined and maintained like our tires are, and repaired when necessary, to ensure that the journey goes as smoothly as possible.

What is your analogy for ministry?

About Laura Marie Piotrowicz

I'm a high-energy priest, now serving in the Diocese of Niagara, catching glimpses of the kingdom in daily life. I consider church to be a verb, and I'm passionate about prayer, eco-theology, and social justice. I love travel, reading, canoeing, camping, gardening and cooking, playing with my dogs, and drinking good coffee.
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