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Do it Yourself


When I was a teenager living in a rural setting, we never took our cars to a carwash for someone else to wash it or to a quick lube place to have the oil changed, we always did those things ourselves. Actually, I have some very pleasant memories of all the kids climbing on our parent's car, scrubbing it down with dishwashing soap, then hosing it and one another off with the garden hose afterward. Learning to change the oil was a coming of age ritual at our home. When we were old enough, Dad, dressed in his oil-stained coveralls, would take us to the ally behind the house and show us how to drain the oil, take off the oil filter, apply a thin layer of oil to the gasket and install the new filter. "The trick," he'd say, "Is to tighten the filter a half a turn, no more and no less."

The last year I lived at home, I had a job working at a gas station busting flats, changing oil and cleaning up the place. Though I don't claim to be an expert at mechanical work, with that experience and the training my Dad gave me, I certainly know how to change the oil in my car. Yet, I never do. I always take it to a quick lube to get it done. Why? It isn't worth my time to do it. In an article for Reader's Digest, Jane Spencer asks the question, "Is it really worth your time?" She writes, "Americans often make drastic miscalculations about the value of their time, taking a do-it-yourself approach to tasks that might be less costly in time and money to hire out. A simple oil change, for example, costs $26.99 at some Jiffy Lube locations. But the supplies to do it yourself can run about $21." (Sept 2003, p. 155-6)

Add in the hassle of disposing of the waste, the time spent shopping for the supplies and the time spent doing the work and it just doesn't add up-at least not for me. You see, just because I can do something doesn't mean I should do something.

It's true with small things like change the oil in my car and it is true in other areas of my life too. I can get so busy doing things I can do that I don't have time to do the things I'm supposed to do. The things I'm called to do.
 

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