Idlers Will Be Charged

December 22, 2016
Volume 20, Number 41

The age of electric cars is now here.  What once seemed a fantasy has become reality, and that reality is growing rapidly.  And we’re not talking about hybrid cars, in which sometimes the car runs on electricity and sometimes on gasoline.  No, these cars are fully electric with never a need to stop at the gas station.

Still, these electric vehicles (e.g. the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Bolt, and all Tesla models) have to be “fueled”.  That fueling is accomplished by charging stations.  The driver pulls up to the charger, plugs in, and waits for the batteries to recharge a sufficient amount to complete the journey.  That “sufficient” amount of time varies greatly among vehicles.

Tesla, a newcomer to automakers, released its first all-electric vehicle in 2008.  Since then the company has gained attention and customers, but at a high price.  With a new model set to launch in 2017 which will be priced in the $35,000 range, more Teslas will be hitting the chargers.  To prepare for the surge in demand, Tesla announced this week that vehicles which remain plugged in after reaching full charge will be assessed a 40-cents-per-minute idling fee.  Others will be waiting in line to plug in.

Tesla, which has previously offered free charging to its customers, is sending a clear message: Don’t be wasting our resources, or you’ll pay.  (Who can blame them?)

Jesus once told a parable about one who was idling.  In this parable the main character wasn’t a person but a fig tree: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard … ‘Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?'” (Luke 13:6,7).

Jesus recognized a principle of agronomy: Plants will deplete the soil of its nutrients over time.  A wise farmer makes sure that the plants he grows are efficiently using the available nutrients.  If not, they will be removed.

A similar event is found in Matthew 21 where Jesus cursed a fig tree, causing it to die immediately (Matthew 21:18,19).  In that setting it is clear that Jesus has people in mind.  Those who don’t serve God as expected will one day pay dearly.

God saw the problem in Isaiah’s time: “The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider” (Isaiah 1:3).

We live on this earth thanks to the grace of God.  We breathe His air; we drink the water He created and sustains; in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  “He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25).  We’re “using up” the nutrients God has provided.  What does He receive in return?  Are we idling?

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2016, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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