A young man had gotten a car. It was a 1972 four door Fiat. It did not go faster than 45 mph and it was not much to look at, but it was a car. One day, the young man’s uncle came and said, “We are taking your car to a garage.” The young man protested, “There is nothing wrong with my car, why take it to a garage?” The uncle explained that the car needed an oil change, tune up, checking the wear on the tire threads, checking belts and hoses etc., etc., and that these check-ups can save one from severe motor vehicle breakdowns. Yes, the uncle said that this was called “preventive maintenance”. In other words, by servicing the car before it had problems one can prevent certain problems from developing.
This “preventive maintenance” ideology actually works in all areas of life. If we plan ahead and prepare, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble later. It organizes one’s life and helps it to run more smoothly, and even when unexpected things arise, one can much more easily adjust and re-adjust. Have you ever seen those shows on TV, where experts show the viewers how to organize and streamline their lives? How to schedule and plan ahead and be prepared for those little breakdowns that always occur in life? A very good incentive for us to follow those instructions and to make life a bit smoother! Calendars and order help to manage our lives a lot better.
But the best place to apply this “preventive maintenance” ideal is in our relationship with God. There is one important aspect in our spiritual life: the Bible tells us that Jesus will return one day to claim those who have been faithful to Him. The Bible tells us to watch and pray for the coming of the Lord. If we wait till He comes to begin to prepare, then we will have waited too late. We should be in preparation now! The Lord may return at any time. Therefore we should get our lives in order! As we live each day we should prepare to meet God by putting aside the habits and thoughts that are displeasing to God.
Our preventative maintenance is to change ourselves to be more like God, in doing so we will begin to look forward to the return of Christ. What a glorious day this will be for those who are prepared! “Be diligent in these matters, give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15).
— adapted from an article by K.D. Olison, Ministering Evangelist, North Teneha church of Christ, Tyler, Texas