What does car trouble have to do with Stewardship? by Eugenia Marembo
By God’s grace, I was able to buy a brand-new car some years ago. A new car meant that for approximately 5 years I would not have to worry about getting one registration renewal thing done (pink slips). I also reasoned that I would not have to worry about unnecessary repairs, and all up, there were a lot less administrative things concerning the vehicles’ operation. Though I appreciate good cars and engines, I’m not keen on the mechanics. All I wanted was a “buy and forget” purchase, meaning something that would only require annual service and come with the odd checks here and there.
Fast forward some years into the vehicle’s life. I’m not ready to let go of the car for several reasons. Sentiment being one and the fact that I’ve not had to think about car repayments in ages. At the start of January, I began to hear an unusual sound coming through when I drove beyond 50km/h. Not only that, when the rains have been heavy, I have felt more uneasy given a couple of odd take offs which I’ve suspected had a lot to do with the condition of my tyres. The car’s balance has felt off for a bit and I’d been praying for a few more trips till I could get this sorted. An unexpected opportunity popped up and suddenly, I had to make plans for a long drive. It was at this point that I learnt some interesting things about stewardship.
Having finally gone to the mechanics, I learnt that all my car tyres were overdue for replacement. Not only that, but a wheel alignment was also required (something I only just learnt about). Even more surprising for me was learning that some specialists recommend getting your wheel alignment done every 6 months. I’m even embarrassed to mention just how many years I’ve had the car for, and this would be the first I was hearing about it!
I got a few quotes, and it was a bit shocking because this had quickly turned into an unexpected cost on my end. In addition, the urgency with which the mechanics had conveyed what needed to be done meant this was not something I could put off. Admittedly, I was annoyed. I was also puzzled at the range of quotes I received. Unable to make sense about the price differences, I asked my older brother for some assistance. The key thing he mentioned was tyres are the one thing you should not skimp on when it comes to your car. He said that “your tyres can mean life or death on the road”. So, I ended up booking in the service for the premium quote.
Returning to the issue of my annoyance, I remember venting to God that this was a cost I had not anticipated, and I was unhappy that this was something the mechanics had never discussed in detail with me over the years. As I was reflecting, the question that came back to me was, “well, when had you ever asked the mechanics about the specifics of your car? You just drop it off, pray for a cheap service bill and pick it up afterwards”. I sat with these words for a bit, then it dawned on me that I had prayed for this gift, my car, rejoiced at the purchase and pay off, but never had invested in knowing more about the car’s maintenance beyond the annual service and registration requirements. That was on me!
As I thought about this, It also hit me that there are opportunities, gifts and relationships we ask from God. When these are granted, we thank him and rejoice. However, we do not inquire about what is needed or what it will take to ensure that we appropriately and adequately care for what we’ve been entrusted. We don’t consider what stewardship truly means. As a result, where specialist attention and care is required, we give general care, and in so doing, we risk damaging what is good.
As I wrap up, I’d like to leave you with two questions. First, have you taken time to inquire from God about how you should maintain, care for, and nurture what you have? Second, how often do you check in , and how patient are you with waiting on His response to what you must do? Remember, it is one thing to be granted an idea, opportunity, or relationship. It is truly another to steward what we’ve been given, and yet another to do so consistently!
My name is Eugenia and I wear many hats. I am Sydney based Blogger, Author Coach for individuals interested in self-publishing and I am Public Policy Enthusiast.
I'm nearing the end of my PhD which examines Not-For Profit (NFP) organisation advocacy in housing and homelessness policy.