I took my car into the shop early this morning for a “routine” oil change.  I guess routine is the wrong word to use when referring to car repairs.  But, I was optimistic that this would indeed be an easy, breezy trip.

It wasn’t.  At least not exactly.  First, there is this light that won’t go off that apparently is an indication that the passenger safety belt is defective and needs to be replace.  The good news is that it is under warranty and the manufacturer will pay for the repair.

That is where the good news ends.  The recommendations for multiple repairs came in hot and furious.  Apparently the front breaks have only a millimeter or two of pad left, there is something about “bushings,” and then some fluid flushes and a few other odds and ends.  As I looked at the computer screen the number $1500 flashed before my eyes.

So, here’s the dilemma.  How much do I address?  I mean it is a used vehicle that no matter what I do will never be new again. How much money would you pour into it?  They are only recommendations.  No one is forcing me to take care of them.

I feel the same way about my body.  It is showing wear as well.  I have a finger that is crooked because it was broken and has signs of early arthritis, a nose that is all over the place, a series of spots and blemishes that could need a peak, slightly high cholesterol levels and a few other items.  But, it all seems to be working pretty well.  Do I really want to address all the small things that are showing some age?

Probably not.  Maintenance is important in cars and in health.  Should it be preventative maintenance or “real time” maintenance?  Tough question.  I think a little of both is important.  Some preventative stuff can “prevent” the other.  Like the commercial says, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

When it comes to spiritual or emotional health I prefer a whole bunch of the preventative stuff.  Looking at the little things as they begin to show themselves is key to growth and development as people.  Don’t wait and simply be reactive.  Be proactive instead.

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