We also have a select few phrases in English that involve these words. Among them is the phrase “basket case”. But for my purposes in this post, I definitely mean “gasket case”.
Of course, the more popular phrase involving “gasket” has to do with “blowing a gasket”. A literal blown gasket is what happens when either a valve cover, intake valve, or head on an engine block springs a leak. And this is precisely what is driving this whole blog post.
My wife’s car recently began smelling hot every time she parked it. If you have ever smelled a hot engine, then you know what I mean when I say that it smelled terrible! Something was clearly wrong; and I knew it. The smell confirmed it!
Now, as we had just had the oil changed, I initially passed it off as oil residue accidentally spilled on the engine block during the refill. This had happened before. But I soon realized that there were problems with this conclusion. To begin with, there never seemed to be any oil leak wherever she parked. More to the point, the smell did not go away, as would be the case once the heat of the engine should have burned any residual oil spillage off the engine block.
So, I took the car back to the repair shop for a second opinion. And sure enough, the engine in her car had indeed blown a valve cover gasket. Barely one full day and one repair bill later, the whole problem has now been resolved; and all is back to normal.
Of course, engines aren’t the only things that can blow a gasket. In a figurative sense, we often speak of persons doing the same thing. Whenever any individual becomes overly angry, loses his or her temper, and “unloads” pent up frustrations upon another, he or she can be said to have “blown a gasket”.
Now, as long as engines have been in existence, gaskets have been subject to be blown. Similarly, as long as human beings have been on this planet, they have had a tendency to lose their temper and “blow a gasket”, as it were.
Such things are fairly regular occurrences in life. So much so that it will be hard for most of us to get through life and not have at least one engine in one automobile we own undergo this. Likewise, it will be virtually impossible for most of us to get through life without blowing a gasket ourselves ever so often!
The real question is what we do when this happens. In the case of my wife’s car, we could not just ignore the matter and pretend like it did not need attention. Far too much was at stake; and therefore, the engine simply had to be fixed. Repairs were thus necessary if we wanted the engine to keep working properly.
In much the same way, whenever you and I as human beings lose our temper and blow a proverbial gasket, we cannot then just proceed as if nothing has happened.
Rather, we must stop, assess the damage, and ascertain how much repair work we may need to undertake. Otherwise, we may well find ourselves in a position where, at the very least, we lose valuable friends; and at the worst, we lose much more in terms of the future.
To be angry on occasion is natural. Even Jesus was angry periodically. All four of the New Testament canonical Gospels tell us that Jesus cleansed the temple of the money changers. One senses that He had some righteous indignation at the time; though we are not actually told that He was angry.
However, in other places in the Gospels, we are indeed told that Jesus was angry. For instance, in Mark’s Gospel (chapter 3, verses 1-6), we read:
1Once again Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man with a withered hand was there. 2In order to accuse Jesus, they were watching to see if He would heal on the Sabbath.
3Then Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stand up among us.” 4And He asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” But they were silent.
5Jesus looked around at them with anger and sorrow at their hardness of heart. Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored.
6At this, the Pharisees went out and began plotting with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Thus, the Bible can elsewhere affirm (in the New Testament letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 26) that we can “be angry, and yet sin not”. Indeed, as the New Living Translation of this verse affirms, anger becomes sinful only when we let it “control” us.
Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind in Matthew (chapter 5, verses 23 and 24, and again in chapter 18, verse 15) when He admonished us to make certain that all was well between us and our brothers and sisters in Christ here on earth before we ever set out to worship the Father Who is up in Heaven!
And so, my friend, if you, like me, have on occasion “blown a gasket”, then rest a little easier tonight. We all do this on occasion. That is simply part of being human. The important thing is what you do afterwards. If you have not yet done so, therefore, get busy and repair the damage as soon as possible.
To prolong the matter is only to invite real and lasting damage! To address it is to fix the problem before it does further harm or injury. And trust me, each and every day thereafter, no matter where you park, the smell will be a lot better too!
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: cf.: www.biblehub.com/. Specifically, search Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48; and John 2:12-25, as they record the story of Jesus cleansing the temple.
SEE ALSO: https://biblehub.com/bsb/mark/3.htm;