When the Spirit of Truth comes,
he will guide you all into truth.
John 16:13a NLT
Let’s talk tire tread for a second. Do you know why it’s there and how it works? I knew a tiny amount – basically just that it provides traction. I was curious so I googled it to learn a little more about how it works.
“The word tread is often used casually to refer to the pattern of grooves molded into the rubber, but those grooves are correctly called the tread pattern, or simply the pattern. The grooves are not the tread, they are in the tread. This distinction is especially significant in the case of racing slicks, which have a lot of tread but no grooves. The grooves in the rubber are designed to allow water to be expelled from beneath the tire and prevent hydroplaning. The proportion of rubber to air space on the road surface directly affects its traction. Design of tire tread has an effect upon noise generated, especially at freeway speeds.” – Wikipedia
The proportion of rubber to air space on the road surface directly affects its traction. That’s why the depth of the grooves in the tread pattern matter – they are built with a specific direction and depth proven to increase traction. When the depth of those grooves decreases, the proportions of rubber, air space, and road change and the traction isn’t as great.
What if that same model worked when we’re looking for more life traction?
Think about it! Seriously! Traction in a Christian life is when you are daily growing closer to God and letting that relationship transform every part of your world. How does that happen? In my life, it happens when I have a tread pattern of [deep grooves of] time with God. When my daily Bible reading and journaling doesn’t happen, I totally see a difference. I get tripped up by smaller problems. I get snarky more often with the people in my life. I have a harder time being confident and joyful in my daily life. In tire terms, I hydroplane. But when I take the time to let Jesus’ words breathe life into my soul, something changes. His Holy Spirit changes my perspective and comforts my heart and mind with peace and wisdom. I can’t think of a better word for that than traction.
The disciples were promised this same kind of traction when Jesus was teaching them about the Holy Spirit in the last days before his crucifixion. He told them:
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13 ESV)
Spoiler alert – if you read just a little bit further into the New Testament in Acts, you will see this promise come true those disciples I call “Morons For A Cause” turned into the disciple-version-of-rocket-scientists overnight! It’s like traction on steroids. You can’t read it without wanting a piece of that in your own life.
Thankfully, it’s not just reserved for those 2000 year old morons – we can get that kind of traction, too. The secret to God’s equation for life traction is simple: Deep tread comes from treading deeply in Him.
Dear Lord, I want to make time with you a priority. I can’t believe how quickly I get busy with silly little tasks and let our time together vanish from my day. Thank you for giving me your truth and your Spirit’s traction. I love you. Amen.