An overheated engine and mind

By Sandra Sheridan

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Anxiety can be a huge source of stress. Worries and fretful thoughts can swirl around in your mind so fast and strong that it feels that your whole head is caught up in a fire of emotions. This is not healthy or necessary. God tells us that we should not be anxious about anything, but instead remove these worries and give them to Him.

It was your typical, ordinary Thursday. I went to work, came home and at seven o’clock jumped in the van to run to Fairborn where Abigail was playing volleyball. I arrived at the large Sports Complex and drove around trying to locate Abigail’s building. That’s when I noticed it!

The pungent smell of smoke reached my nose and while I was wondering where it was coming from I saw the smoke wisping out from under my hood. “Oh great!” I thought, “What is this all about?”

I sat in the car wondering what to do as the billowing smoke grew thicker and thicker. Fortunately, Abigail was with her cousin Eva and Uncle Matt who found me in time to locate a fire extinguisher and spray the hot engine.

On closer investigation we noticed some cloth remnants littering the manifold. We concluded that a mechanic from my recent service appointment had left a rag in the engine and the heat had caused it to catch on fire. After letting the van cool down and removing the scorched pieces the car started right up and I was able to drive home without any other problems.

What an evening … all because something was in the engine that should not have been there. Our minds can also experience problems when we allow things in that shouldn’t be there. Worry creates feelings of panic and can cause us to be unproductive and miserable. It may affect our sleep habits, raise our blood pressure, and cause stomach aches, heart attacks, and more.

These are only some of the reasons God tells us to cast our cares upon Him. He knows how worry will affect us and desires that we trust Him when it comes to the things that are out of our control. He is all-wise, incredibly powerful, and loves us so much. We must have faith that He will take care of all our needs.

When struggling with anxiety I recently read the suggestion to create a worry list and bring these things to God on a daily basis. Ask Him for direction and do anything He tells you to do. But when the thing is out of your control remove the concern from your mind and leave it with Him. During the remainder of the day when the worry flames up remind yourself that you have given it to God and will talk to Him about it again tomorrow during your prayer time. This type of action will help you to learn to trust Him and it will keep your mind and heart from suffering the effects of unneeded worry!

Once we removed the unwanted rag from my van’s engine I was able to drive home. Thankfully we caught the problem soon enough and nothing in the vehicle was irreparably ruined.

Next time I get my car repaired I doubt I will check under the hood for unwanted materials, but it would behoove us all to check our thoughts on a regular basis. Do they contain unwanted worries and anxieties? If so, remove them as quickly as possible and give them to the Lord. He can put out the fire and guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. — Love Mama

By Sandra Sheridan

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at