Sitting at the Jeep dealership waiting for them to change the oil in my Patriot, I got thinking about various kinds of filters.  The quality and type of oil filter makes a BIG difference in how well your car’s engine will run and how long it will last.  The best filters keep out the most particles of destructive dirt and metal, preventing them from entering the engine where they could damage rings and bearings.  I like changing my car’s oil and filter myself, but I just don’t have the time or place to do it anymore.

A filter I don’t like to clean is the one on our vacuum cleaner.  We used to have a vacuum with a water tank filter.  That one could just be dumped without making much of a mess.  The vacuum we currently own is a different story; it’s bagless.  It has a transparent plastic canister with a foam element inside.  You can see the dirt and dust swirling around and building up inside.  If I’m not mindful of which way the wind’s blowing when I clean this filter, I can end up wearing the contents!  What kind of sadist would design something like this?

Furnace filters can also be kind of messy to change.  The brand I buy includes a little sticker.  The idea behind the sticker is, when I remove the old, dirty filter and install the nice, clean, new one, I’m supposed to write the installation and the “change filter” dates on the sticker and stick it on the side of the furnace.  I usually do that – then I forget about it.  That’s not really a problem.  When I hear strange noises in the basement and catch that “burning dust” smell every time the heat comes on, I think to myself “I wonder if the filter needs changed?”.

Computers use filters such as antivirus software and firewalls to prevent unwanted data from finding its way onto their hard drives and to prevent stored information from being stolen.

Even people have filters; or at least we’re supposed to.  Our livers and kidneys are filters, but I have a few other filters in mind; our eyes, our ears and even our mouths.  Remember that line from the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary when Mark Darcy tells Bridget “you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences.”  There’s a lot of that going on these days.  The scary thing is, all that “static” is like a tidal wave of free radicals attacking our minds, our hearts, even our very souls.  If we don’t employ filtering mechanisms we can become emotionally, mentally and even physically plugged up with some destructive, and probably baseless, stuff.  Being informed is important, just like making sure an engine has enough oil, but your mental lubricant must be good oil, not snake oil.  Understanding is also important, but I don’t try to understand everything.  Doing so would be like dipping a furnace filter in wet cement and still expecting air to get through it.  The best filter I can employ these days for my eyes, ears and mouth is simply the short prayer from Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”

© 2017 Curt Savage Media

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