buzz off

A while ago my car developed an annoying buzzing. When I started I thought it was a fly trapped in the car and buzzing against the window, but there was no obvious sign of any insects. Then I wondered if a wee beastie had got inside the driver’s door (because it sounded like it was coming from that side of me). However, unless the wee beastie was extremely long-lasting or was breeding offspring at an unprecedented rate I ruled out the wildlife concept after a couple of days.

I concluded, therefore, that something must have worked itself loose inside the door. Finding the cause was proving tricky, however, since the buzzing only occurred when the car was in motion and even then was intermittent. I tried lowering and raising the window, but that made no difference. It did suggest to me, however, that the cause of the buzzing may not have been the window winding mechanism.

Being unable to find and resolve the problem was irritating me, and the intermittent buzzing felt like a taunt when it occurred. I began to make a mental note of when it occurred and realised that the buzzing did not happen when the car was on smooth, freshly laid tarmac. However, since there was no chance of only driving on freshly laid tarmac when I wanted to get anywhere that revelation did not resolve the problem.

I had the car serviced a while back and toyed with the idea of asking the garage to resolve the problem. But not knowing how long it would take to find the cause of the buzzing and stopping it meant that this could be expensive at the hourly rate they charge so I didn’t ask them. I decided that when I had the time I would take the door card off myself and see if I could find the problem and sort it out.

I did often have the time, but whenever I thought about it I was deterred by the thought that it could lead me to making things worse as I didn’t really know what I was looking for, so I never actually got around to it.

Then, a week or so ago, I was driving with my wife and the buzzing started as we drove over a less than smooth road surface. I listened hard, once again, and it seemed to me that the buzzing wasn’t coming from directly beside me, as I had previously thought. While concentrating on the driving I tried to isolate where the sound was coming from and it seemed to be in front of me, but to the right.

That’s when I realised what was causing the buzzing.

I have a small clear plastic clip that is tucked into the bottom corner of the windscreen so that I can tuck parking tickets into it when I need to display them. Over time the ‘sticky’ has become slightly less sticky so that now, on less than smooth roads, the minor vibrations cause it to vibrate against the windscreen – doing an impression of a fly that is buzzing against the window. The solution? Tuck an old ticket into it so that the plastic is not touching the glass.

Phew. Silence. The ‘fly has been banished’.

And PHEEEEWWWW, I didn’t spend a lot of time or money getting the buzzing sorted by taking apart the door. And imagine the embarrassment if the mechanic had found that it was the parking ticket clip after all!

I don’t imagine any of you have been bothered by pesky unfindable sounds in your car, have you? You would have found it right away, wouldn’t you?

The lesson? Always check out the possibility that something small can resolve irritation for yourself, or for someone else – a piece of paper in a ticket clip, an apology, a note of appreciation, the toilet seat put back down…

Be blessed, be a blessing


communicateI currently have two mobile phones. It may seem a bit excessive one is for work and the other is for personal use. It means that when I am “off duty” I can turn off my work phone, sending any calls to voicemail, while still being contactable by friends and family.

This system works pretty well apart from when both phones are in the same pocket or in my bag. I have different ring tones for them so that when one of the rings I should know which one it is. The problem is I can never remember which phone it is that is ringing that particular tone so I have to get both of them out and check which one is ringing. If I get the wrong one that additional delay can sometimes mean that I miss the call, which can be frustrating for both the caller and for me.

I have thought about creating my own ringtones the voice saying, “this is your work phone” or, “this is your friends and family phone.” There will be okay when I’m on my own but it does seem a little pretentious if I am in company. I guess this comes under the hashtag #firstworldproblems – it’s not a major issue this simply learn which ringtone applies to which phone but it is an irritation.

Somehow it reminds me of one of my favourite passages in the Old Testament comes in 1 Samuel chapter 3 when God was trying to get Samuel’s attention. Samuel was just a small boy and was understandably not expecting to hear God speak to him audibly. When, in the middle of the night, he heard a voice calling his name he didn’t recognise it and assumed it was Eli, the priest he was serving. There is wonderful comedic timing and interplay as Samuel keeps going to Eli asking what he wants every time he hears the voice calling his name and Eli keep sending him back to bed saying he didn’t call him. Finally Eli realised what was happening and told Samuel to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

That’s pretty good advice for us when we are seeking to listen to God: responding with a willingness to hear what he has to say. The passage also begins with one of the saddest phrases in the Bible: “in those days the word of the Lord was rare.”
I wonder whether it was rare because God decided to keep quiet for because people simply weren’t listening. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Be blessed, be a blessing