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Take Care of Your Car and Other Things

Cars, sooner or later they will need to be repaired. For me, it has been one of those weeks when both of mine were in the shop. Now they are running good even if the wallet is a bit lighter. I remember long ago complaining to a mechanic about the ongoing repairs to my car, a 1984 Mazda GLC (remember those with the rotary engines?). He paused, looked me in the eye while pointing my way with a wrench for emphasis, and said, “Son, a car is just a machine. Nothing more. And machines break down. That’s life. Get over it.” It was an important life lesson. Some machines are better than others, but none are designed to perform forever. They call for maintenance and repair. A wise man will prepare for this inevitable fact of life. He will treat the vehicle with needed care. He will perform routine inspections and try to keep the parts greased, oiled, and in good working order. Importantly, he will save money to pay for the unexpected, which ironically is to be expected!

As my mechanic friend said, machines break down. All machines- heating and air conditioning, car engine, your body and all parts of it. When it happens we can get upset with God and cry “Woe is me!”, but that helps nothing. Sometimes it is not our fault, and sometimes it happens when we just have not been able to prepare. Then we trust our Father who “owns the cattle of a thousand hills…” and seek with His wisdom to be as resourceful as possible. And then- God always comes through for us, His way and His timing of course. Often, if we are honest, we know that we share responsibility for the created crisis. My old car needed several new parts because the ones in use had been fraying and wearing out over the last several thousand miles, not known to me because I had not bothered with inspection or maintenance work. And whose fault was that? Certainly not the fault of the car, mechanic, or God! If I allow myself to get overweight and under-exercised, have poor eating habits and choose not to deal properly with stress, then a health crisis is likely on the horizon. Again, I must share responsibility for the mess. Finally, if I am sloppy with prayer and Bible study and worship, get in the habit of dealing with life outside faith and the power of God, then sooner or later something will come along in life too big for me to handle and it is going to hit me hard. That is not God’s fault- long ago I was given the resources to steer this matter to a better outcome.

It is all a matter of stewardship. Maintain your car and your health. And keep strong in your walk with the Lord. It is true that God “blesses our messes”. But, I believe, He would much more like to reward our faith.

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