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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Maintaining Damage Control
By Beckie Stewart


Ignoring small issues, eventually results in solutions much more difficult to discover. The fluid light flashes on, and with a quick once over, nothing is revealed. So, some of us keep on driving. A slight smell is emitted, and oddly enough, some of us still keep moving. A strange sounds begins, but some us don't understand what we hear. So, we continue. Suddenly, the sound becomes a deafening roar, the smell makes us gag, and smoke is billowing forth. We are on the side of the road, and we are there until help arrives.

"Greetings, Mr. Tow-man. Please, take me to the nearest mechanic," we say, realizing no other options are left. "Here is the money. Please, fix my car as fast you can."

How ridiculous this all sounds. Who would keep driving their car, when they have so many indications of a problem with it? We know that a wise car owner checks the fluid levels on a regular basis. This practice among others prevents most minor issues from becoming full-blown wreckage to the vehicle. Certainly, we know that neglecting these small deeds will eventually result in no vehicle, and a lot of money and time to repair and return our car to us.

As unbelievable as this may be, this is exactly what many us do to our marriages. We are unwilling to spend the time or energy needed to maintain the most vital human relationship we could ever have. In fact, we will sacrifice our marriage for the children and/or our careers, deceiving ourselves into believing this is best for them as well as us.

"It's not that big of a deal," the offending spouse repeatedly tells the hurting spouse. "Just get over it." With no apology ever offered, the red light comes on. We take the blame upon ourselves, thinking nothing is significantly wrong with that view and move on.

"You don't love me or seem to care about me at all anymore," the insecure spouse cries. With no concern, an odd odor seeps in. It is discarded as unrelated to anything important, and once again, we continue on.

"You are never there for me when I need you." The spouse attempts to reach out again, but a small rattle emerges from within but ignored. We are functioning, but commitment is slowly dying.

"I don't know what to do anymore," the hurting spouse finally tells their friend as they consider divorce as a viable option. The rattle turns to a loud clanking. Smoke billows out. Unable to move forward another inch, 9-1-1 is dialed. What a shame to have waited so long to seek help.

Let us instead be just as wise with our marriages as most of us are with our vehicles. May we purchase or borrow books on marriage to better understand our spouse. Let's attend those marriage seminars, so we can receive practical ways to keep our marriage alive and burning before the damage is done. If there are children, let's arrange for a sitter and date our spouse like we did when we were courting. If counseling is needed, let's get it, so we are dealing with molehills instead of large mountains.

We all make choices on what is worth spending our time, money, and energy on. Our choices reveal what we really want and love. May we aim to put the maintenance of our marriages above our cars. This control will keep us from experiencing permanent damage from taking place.

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This article has been read 616 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/10/08
Very good analogy, and right on topic.
Anothervoice Sunstar01/11/08
Excellently written and such truth in the reminders.
Yvonne Blake 01/12/08
Very well constructed! I like how smoothly you compared car-problem symptoms to marriage-problem symptoms.
Good job...keep writing.
Evelyn Rodgers01/12/08
How true and you did a good job of writing. thank you.
Evelyn Rodgers, Mb canada
Catrina Bradley 01/15/08
Excellent work. I had to double check the level.

You could leave off the first sentence entirely. It repeats the topic, which isn't encouraged, and you move on to show us anyway so it's unnecessary.

""I don't know what to do anymore," the hurting spouse finally tells their friend as they consider divorce as a viable option. In the previous paragraphs you avoided using a pronoun (he/she or the "they" substitute. The same could be done here with some simple rewording - "the hurting spouse tells a friend as divorce becomes a viable option." or something like that. :)

The car analogy is used skillfully. I like that it is consistently referred to throughout. Clear message, and perfectly on topic. Definitely not beginner level writing IMHO.
Dee Yoder 01/16/08
Very good analogy to the car and how we would never think of driving it into the ground once it showed signs of damage, yet we do it with our marriages. Your descriptions kept me reading and the comparisons were clear and useful. Right on topic.
Maxx .01/16/08
Good strong word choices ... you have a great vocabulary and strong sentence structure! This bodes well! The "moral lesson" type format isn't my favorite (me being a dark fiction guy!)but you pull this off well! Look forward to seeing more of your work! :-)
Tim Pickl01/17/08
This is an excellent Devotional! Just add scripture(s).