Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

God and Car Warranties

So, my dad turns 72 today (prayers cheerfully accepted) and he decided to treat himself to a new car. Mind you, he is someone who, generally speaking, has been quite frugal on the matter of buying himself automobiles. When all the partners at his firm were tooling around in Bimmers and Benzes and the odd Roller, he had Buicks, Pontiacs, Nissans and, in what passed for a very belated midlife crisis, a Ford Taurus SHO. I could tell he was having a midlife crisis because the car was stick. I could also tell the crisis abated, because he traded it in a year later for an automatic version.

Anyway, he got himself a Very Nice Car. Not quite something EuroExpensive, but close. (I figure that at age 72, he has precious few new car buys left in him) So, sitting here and cogitating on the matter I thought on the process of taking delivery of the new car and how it resembles the way God wants us to behave.

We read the owner's manual and it says "change the oil every X miles." Many things can happen with this but the interesting part is that the manufacturer of the car has left us totally in charge of freely making the decision to change the oil every X miles. If we don't change the oil at all, the manufacturer won't hunt us down. But the car might not run quite so well after 20,000+ miles on unchanged oil* and we, not the XYZ Motors Inc., will have to live with a car suffering from myriad maladies. These will be the consequences of our own (in)actions, regardless of whether we want to blame XYZ's manufacturing and design.

However, we can also bring in our cars at regular intervals to an XYZ dealership for servicing and, while under warranty, all kinds of problems get fixed. New a/c belts, filters, assorted fluids, gizmos, widgets and so forth are all repaired and the car put back to optimal running conditions.

But we have to go.

Outside of the dealership, we also have a responsibility to wash and vacuum the car, wax it, and otherwise keep it looking nice. After all, we will only get maximum for our trade-in if the car runs well and looks nice.

So it is with God.



* Which pretty much turns to tar. This is not some allegorical reference to the miracle at Cana. Rather it is an explanation of why we had to trade in my wife's previous minivan for my wife's current minivan.


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