Lessons from Looking for a Used Car

A few years ago our family was looking for another car. The budget dictated that it would be a used one. I knew which make and model I wanted. After scouring the local ads, I narrowed the choices to two possible vehicles. After calling each owner and discussing the price, mileage, options, and conditions, I made appointments to view them.

As I approached the first address, my heart leapt with joy! In the driveway was a freshly washed, sparkling automobile that looked like it had just come off the assembly line–instead of being 3-4 years old. I actually drove right past the house, doubting that I had the correct address!

After verifying the address and turning around, I drove back, parked, and walked toward the front door of the house, looking with excitement at this perfect automobile. Inside and outside it was in mint condition.

A very cheerful owner, with keys in hand, appeared at the door when I knocked. He unlocked the car, and urged me to inspect it. The more I inspected it, the more I wanted this car. I could already imagine the surprised look on my wife’s face as she saw it for the first time. When we took it for a test drive, it drove a brand new model.

As I handed the keys back back to the owner, I asked if he had records of the service performed on this vehicle. He laughed heartily while telling me that “it had run so well, I never had any service performed–not even oil changes!” My heart sank.

Almost heart-broken, I drove to look at the second vehicle. It was the same age, same model, same mileage, same price. It too was sitting in the owner’s driveway, having just been washed. But it had a few scratches, small dents, and while clean, the interior looked a bit used.

After examining it just as carefully and taking it for a test drive, I asked about service records. This time the owner replied, “Let me get them for you.” He returned from the house with a folder containing the receipts for each service the manufacturer recommended–including all the oil changes. 

Which car did I purchase? It was a really hard decision, but common sense dictated that the second one was truly the better value. Indeed it turned out to be so, as our family drove that vehicle 300,000 miles (482,803 km) without any major service problems!

How well do we maintain ourselves–our bodies? Too often we keep the outward adorning beautiful, but the inside is a physiological mess! Being biologically inefficient internally is just as much a disgrace to God, our Creator, as to have the outside coated with filth. 

Living in physiological harmony with our Manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations is the best way to minimize our risks of disease, and maximize our service to others and God. How are you doing?