So for the last year or so my car has been making a humming noise, starting at about 30 MPH and increasing in pitch/intensity the faster I go. This noise has also been gradually getting louder, and I finally decided to do something about it. A consensus of mechanically-inclined people led me to believe the problem was the wheel bearing.
The noise sounded like it was coming from the passenger side front tire, so I grabbed a wheel bearing from Auto Value for ~$75. Swapped it out, hopped on the road…and my car was still making noise. I’m not sure if the noise changed at all or if it was just in my head, but it sounded like the noise was now coming from the front driver’s side wheel. Another $75 and a couple hours of work later, both the front wheel bearings on my car are brand new – and the noise is gone!
Picture 1 shows the old and new passenger side bearings…quite the difference. I’m not sure how bad the old bearing was, but the seals appear to be on their very last legs, so it didn’t have long to go even if it wasn’t bad yet. Picture 2 shows the bad wheel bearing from the driver’s side. It actually started coming apart when I used the puller to remove it. It’s for sure shot.
So two things have been giving me trouble in my pursuit of Jesus Christ lately.
Many who know me, both Christian and otherwise, know that I do enjoy to head out to the bar and casually drink a few beers over good conversation. Something about the KBC atmosphere – I enjoy sipping some of their deliciously crafted home brews around the fireplace. Bag of peanuts in the center of the table, good friends all around. It’s darn close to perfect. Or sitting out on the deck of the Down Towner lounge, overlooking the Portage Canal, on a warm summer night. Gary Tunstall playing everyone’s favorite songs on guitar and a great seasonal beer on tap.
More recently, through some friends of mine and through a bit of personal experience I’ve seen a bit of the darker side of alcohol consumption, and alcoholism. Alcohol produces a pretty serious rift in the Christian community. Many churches have taken a stance against all alcohol. The Christian house I live in expressly forbids it. I don’t think the bible teaches abstinence as the only biblical approach to alcohol, though it does have a bit to say on the subject. It clearly outlines drunkenness and debauchery as sinful and especially warns church leaders against it. I’m personally fond of Psalm 104 verses 14-15:
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
Here, wine (presumably alcoholic) is a blessing from God himself. And we are to enjoy it and use it to bring further glory and honor to God, like every other blessing in our lives. I think this demonstrates that alcohol consumption is permissible and even a good thing as long as it is in the proper context.
I had a great idea for this post yesterday. Now I don’t exactly remember what I was going to say. I do remember I was going to embed the above music video by Mumford & Sons. My housemate got me listening to their music recently, it’s quite good. The song talks not only about cold winter winds (like the kind that have been blowing around here) but about some emotions I can identify with right now too.
It’s been especially cold around here lately, and I’m pretty much ready for spring to be here. I think a warm motorcycle ride would set my mind at ease right about now…