When things just (don’t) work

A few years ago now, Honda ran this advert

I’ve been thinking about that advert since we started live streaming. This week, in particular, made me think of it again. If there is one thing that live streaming has made me ruefully think (beyond, I wish I had a full-time tech person to sort all this stuff out) is this: it’s nice when things just work. In this particular instance, I wish it just worked!

The company tapped into something that many of us long for. We just wish stuff worked. When we get stuff, we want to plug it in, press play and for it to do what we thought it should.

I am not averse to getting new tech and toys. I must admit I quite link having a tinker with new stuff. But I am also aware that I quickly reach the limits of what I know. And when I do, I tend to start wishing that the thing would just work how it’s supposed.

Sadly, the existence of sin in the world means things just don’t work as they’re supposed. Sin has tarnished everything. Ever since Adam thought that bit of fruit looked a bit nice, stuff stopped working as it was meant to do. Stuff and people.

Bob Dylan got it about right:

Broken lines, broken strings,
Broken threads, broken springs,
Broken idols, broken heads,
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken

Broken bottles, broken plates,
Broken switches, broken gates,
Broken dishes, broken parts,
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken,
Everything is broken

Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground

Broken cutters, broken saws,
Broken buckles, broken laws,
Broken bodies, broken bones,
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you’re chokin’,
Everything is broken

Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face

Broken hands on broken ploughs,
Broken treaties, broken vows,
Broken pipes, broken tools,
People bending broken rules
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking,
Everything is broken

Thankfully, every time our live stream doesn’t work, or something else utterly infuriating doesn’t do what it was meant to do, we are reminded not just of sin, but the gospel. Things don’t work as they were meant to do because sin came into the world. But God hasn’t left us here to remain broken but sent Jesus into the world to make all things new. What is broken will, one day, be fixed.

So, it is nice when things just work. But it’s also nice when, though things are broken, there is somebody who can fix them for you too. Even broken stuff – maybe even particularly broken stuff – makes me thankful for Jesus.