When it first appeared, I immediately began to wonder about what expensive damage had been done, but as I rounded the next corner, it faded from view. Over the coming months it would happen sporadically: this annoying warning light on the dashboard would flicker on and off, warning of some problem with the lights on the car. I stopped and walked around, checking front and rear lights and indicators. I presumed it was a problem with the wiring of the warning lamp!
And so the warning lamp continued to glow, on and off - apparently without any recognisable system to its functioning. I grew to accept it as one of those things about my car. Until one day, waiting to turn right at an intersection, the driver of the car behind me jumped out of his car and knocked on my window... "Excuse me, but do you know that you have no brake lights?" Being peak-hour traffic, I pulled around the corner and into a parking bay, where I proceeded to check the lights. No problem there. I pulled out the fuses and discovered a blown fuse.
Upon replacing the fuse, I noticed that the red warning light (which for weeks now was always on!) had disappeared. "Had I really been driving that long without any brake lights?", I mused. Wondering what the problem had been soon disappeared when my friendly warning light reappeared not too far down the road. When we next stopped, I asked Ev to check whether the brake lights were still working: two of the three were. I felt safe. And so I resumed my friendly relationship with the glowing red light on the dash. (I think we had been friends for well over six months by now!)
It was a month or so later that I noticed my friend had disappeared. Perhaps there was a loose wiring on the lamp, which had managed to make contact again, I thought. Until I put my foot on the brake, and it came back to life. I was on to something. Surely enough, that glowing red light had been trying to tell me for the best part of a year that there was a faulty globe in the tail light, which meant one brake light was not functioning. The cost to repair it? just over $3! And I am now getting used to not seeing that glowing red light on the dashboard every time I drive!
Warning signs. How often do we go past them, or ignore them, believing that there is something wrong with the sign, rather than with us. We ignore health warnings, sleep warnings, spiritual warnings, worried that the price of repair and growth might be too high. So we accept less than the best. Sometimes the cost is mere discomfort. At other times it may be greater. Act now.
March 5, 2000
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