Anybody else hate taking their car to the mechanic?
I had a problem with my car, so I took it to the mechanic. All in all, the fix cost about $450. To some that’s chump change, but not to me. Before fixing it, however, the guy called and told me my timing belt was really bad and needed replacing, and it would cost an extra $200 or so, but he could fix it since he already had the car opened up, and it would cost more to open it again later. I didn’t want to pay that, so I said no thank you. You auto mechanic types are cringing right now.
Well, the timing belt snapped and broke something else in the process. I ended up paying $450 bucks again because I didn’t want to pay $200, not to mention the fact that I had to be towed away from a friggin’ stop light. Funny how that works.
But I’m not saying this to talk about my car. I’m saying it to illustrate one of the biggest problems we face in the world: people don’t value preventative maintenance.
Now, it’s one thing to laugh about my ignorance about timing belts, but this goes so much farther than car repair. People don’t fix problems until they absolutely have to.
I think that’s one reason most people are broke: they don’t save for the future and throw everything on credit cards when the unexpected happens.
I think that’s one reason America is so obese: we don’t watch what we eat until the doctor makes us (and we seldom do that), we don’t exercise until we’re too heavy to do so…we generally don’t take care of our bodies until someone makes us.
I think that’s a major reason the divorce rate is about 50%: people don’t invest in their marriages; they just cruise along until a problem comes, try to find the simplest solution, whether it actually solves it or not, and then sit back until the next problem comes, or God forbid, the same problem.
My wife and I were both like this in previous relationships. We were the passive types who never wanted to bring to light any problems because we didn’t want to stir things up. We hid our issues until they blew up in our faces. Thank God we dealt with that before, because now, we’re serious about our marriage. We attended pre-marital counselling, we read books together, watch marital sermons, and many other things to invest in our marriage. That way, when the problems inevitably come, we’ve already learned how to fight fair, how to stay a team, and that at the end of the day, we care more about each other than our own individual points.
I’d say this is the same problem in families with children. They don’t discipline their kids until the cops do. Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but do you know someone who just lets their kid do whatever they want, whenever, and however, and by the time they finally have enough, the child is way beyond disciplining because he or she knows who’s really in charge, and it’s not the parents.
We are a culture that is obsessed with the immediate. We try to make ourselves as comfortable as possible right now and we don’t even look at the future.
This has to stop.
Look beyond your reach. The car WILL break down, so start saving money for when it does. You WILL get old, so strengthen your body before it’s too weak. If you’re married, you WILL fight, so strengthen your unity so that the fights don’t divide you. If you have kids, they WILL try to disobey, so discipline them now so that they learn early to respect authority (but do it in fairness and love).
Now, I’ll turn a bit to my Christian audience: same thing, y’all!
How many of you read your Bible, pray, or go to church…when everything is going great? Or are you have a “spare-tire” God that you don’t even think about until you absolutely need him? Folks, God’s not an idiot. He knows your heart. Jesus said that not everyone who called him “Lord, Lord,” would see heaven (Matthew 7:21). He also said he’d come like a thief in the night, so anybody who is not prepared is in for a sad surprise.
If you have anything in your life that you call good, then INVEST in it! Don’t just put it on a shelf, put time and effort into it. Invest in your kids, your marriage, and your friendships. Also invest in anything you need: your car, home, computer, whatever it is you absolutely need.
Don’t put it off, plan ahead. Someone once said that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I’ll add another one of my own: Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
If you can think of something else that needs care, maintenance, and investment, share them with me and others in the comments! And take a good look at everything you have. What do you REALLY want to last forever?
God Bless ya!